Flood sacks four Bayelsa communities


Four communities of Anyiama Clan in Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State have been dis- placed by flood. They are taking refuge in neighbouring communities. MIKE ODIEGWU reports that efforts are being made to rehabilitate them

Ordinarily, the meeting between the Paramount Ruler of Ogbia Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Dumaro Charles-Owaba and the President, Azikel Group of Companies, Dr. Azibapu Eruani, an industrialist, would have been a happy one. But both of them wore grim faces.

They were all worried about the flood that ravaged four communities in their kingdom.

They were not happy that flood had taken over four big communities in Anyiama Clan of Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State. The river surrounding the communities seemingly was angry and overflowed its banks, emptying its contents into the communities’ farms, homes and stalls.

Not only did the flood sack Emadike, Epebu, Ologoghe and Otuobhi, communities, it also destroyed their properties worth millions of Naira.

The flood submerged household items and forced most people to relocate from their ancestral homes. Some elders who refused to relocate, were seen sitting helplessly in the pool of water.

Disturbed by the natural menace, the industrialist,  Eruani, who controls multi-billion naira investments in Bayelsa, some of which include a refinery project, paid an unscheduled visit to the Ogbia king.  Eruani called for collaboration between the government and the private sector to address the perennial flooding of the area.

He observed that if nothing urgent was done to address the situation; members of the affected communities could be permanently displaced . Eruani, who was in the company of other officials of his company and residents, insisted that the flood would continue unless the government partnered the private sector to embark on massive land reclamation, sand filling, embankment and other strategic initiatives to prevent a reoccurrence of the natural disaster.

Eruani lamented that the communities had suffered hardship because their property and means of livelihood were destroyed; forcing them to flee their homes to other communities. He maintained that the antidote to flooding was reclamation of land and massive sand filling to regenerate land and save the affected communities from going into extinction.

Eruani said: “It’s regrettable that flood has continued to wreak havoc in Anyiama Clan, and government at all levels must act fast to save the situation. I know that the solution to flooding is massive reclamation and sand filling of the affected areas.

‘’The process of resettling the communities cannot be handled by any single individual. We will do our best to address the problem. I wish to call on the monarch to use his good offices as the overall king of the area to draw the attention of government at all levels to the plight of Ogbia people.

“My strength will not be enough. That’s why I have come to tell the Obanobhan to inform the government at the state and national levels of the humanitarian emergency in Anyiama Clan, particularly Emadike, Epebu, Ologoghe and Otuobhi communities of Ogbia LGA.’’

The industrialist said with the huge success already recorded by Azikel Group in sand filling and reclamation of land in a bid to combat flood in Rivers State, the conglomerate was prepared to re-enact the feat in Bayelsa State and other affected states.

Responding, King Charles-Owaba said he was deeply touched by the plight of members of the displaced communities. The monarch assured the indigenes that his council of traditional rulers would make recommendations to the Presidency in order to address the ugly situation.

Culled from here


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