24th September, 2012
Chairman of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and Edo State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Donald Boih, were among the people whose homes were affected when a a devastating flood coursed through three local government areas of Edo State, as the River Niger overflowed its banks.
Several people also reportedly died in the flood that affected Etsako Central, Etsako East and Esan South West local council areas.
Dokpesi is from the Niger River bank town of Agenebode in Etsako east.
Also washed away by the flood is the N2 billion-Ekperi/Anegbette road under construction by Edo state government.
Some communities affected included Anegbette, Udaba, Osomegbe, Agbafu, Udochi, all in Estako Central.
They were completely cut off by the flood and are only accessible by canoe.
Five persons including two children allegedly died in the flood in one of the riverine villages of Etsako Central.
In Estako East, Agenebode and neighbouring villages, flood water streamed into homes, while Illushi, Urhowa and Inyelen in Esan South East also suffered the devastating effects.
Displaced persons from the flood affected areas have taken refuge in secondary and primary schools while others went to live with their relatives in neighbouring villages.
According to Tony Leonard, a resident who was affected by the flood, vehicles were brought to evacuate persons from Udaba but many refused to leave insisting on harvesting their crops and saving their livestock.
Chief David Inatape, head of Udaba village who was among those presently taking refuge at the Alaoye Primary School attributed the flood to the punishment from God.
“I cannot leave my people here like this. This is where I am now sleeping. If it is death, we will all die together. There is no water or food. The water is spreading fast. We also need doctors.”
Oshiomhole told the affected villagers that the flooding was not caused by anybody and called for prayers for the water to recede.
“We would do our best to mitigate the problems and hardship caused by this flooding. We have raised money and a competent committee would be set-up to oversee the effective distribution of relief materials. Doctors and nurses will also be sent here.”
“What has happened here is natural disaster. We cannot blame God. We will support you that have become refugees in your communities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Edo State Government has released N100m for relief materials to victims of the flood in three affected local government areas of the state.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole announced this Sunday while inspecting the devastation caused by flooding in the areas, and the different camps where victims are taking refuge.
Comrade Oshiomhole who warned the relief committee members not to discriminate in the distribution of relief materials said the materials were not procured with party money but state money, adding that the state government would collaborate with the Federal Government to see that long term solutions are provided.
Senator Obende Domingo representing the district at the Senate who was in the governor’s entourage urged the Federal Government to set-up a well equipped disaster management agency that would adequately respond to such disaster.