Bayelsa residents grieve over submerged communities

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Bayelsa residents grieve over submerged communities

Bayelsa on Nigerian map

Residents of some coastal settlements in Bayelsa on Tuesday expressed their grief over the devastation caused by the overflow of River Nun, a tributary of River Niger, in the area.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the flood submerged some settlements along the bank of the river.

NAN also reports that residents of Tombia community in Ekpetiama kingdom and Okordia-Zarama appear to be worst-hit, as vast sections of the two neighbourhoods have remained inundated since September 27.

Some of the residents told NAN that they lost property such as houses, farmlands and fishing equipment to the disaster.

Peter Otobotekere, the President of the Ekpetiama Youth Association, who said that the community had been experiencing perennial flooding for a long time, appealed to government to come to the aid of the residents.

He said that the residents had solicited the intervention of the government on several occasions but to no avail.

Mr. Otobotekere urged the government to intervene and save the community from imminent destruction.

“We have been experiencing perennial flash floods for a very long time.

“Following warnings of impending floods by the federal government due to weather predictions for 2017, we expected that the state government should have done something to mitigate it.

“It is usual for water levels to rise at this time of the year, which often helps our fishing vocation.

“But the water level has reached a crisis point and sadly, there are no contingency plans for those of us who are vulnerable to flooding,’’ he said.

An environmentalist, Alagoa Morris, also urged the state government to act on flood disaster warnings.

He underscored the need for the government to improve on its flood preparedness to mitigate the effect of flooding.

“There have been danger signs, as many communities near the Bayelsa flank of the East-West Road were already receiving excess water from the overflow of River Nun,’’ he said.

(NAN)



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