Flood wreaks havoc in Rivers

Governor Nyesom Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

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Over 200,000 residents of Akinima town, headquarters of Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, have been rendered homeless following the flood caused by the overflowing of the Orashi river a few days ago.

Some of the flood victims lament that they are now taking refuge in other communities.

The flood victims said their farmland has been taken over by the flood.

Amachree Onisojikume Jonathan, the Community Development Committee Chairman of Akinima Town said failure of the Federal Government to complete the shore protection project started after the 2012 flood disaster is responsible for the flooding.

He said no serious measure was taken by government to prevent flood in the area despite warnings.

In October 2012, over 200,000 residents of Omoku in Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area in Rivers State, fled their homes due to the flood that submerged the streets and communities in the area.

Some of the residents who are now living in fear said the the rising tide and the overflow of the banks of the Orashi River may sweep into Omoku town, recalling that flood covered Obohia street, Commissioner road, Akorita street, Dan street, among others.

The residents who are terrified after the 2012 experience, said that the ravaging flood destroyed their properties, houses and farmlands.

They are calling on all tiers of Government to assist in providing food and temporary shelter before they are displaced.

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Also, flood victims are gripped with fear of snake bites and other dangerous reptiles sacked by the flood.

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, had earlier predicted that four local governments in Rivers State could experience flooding this year.

The four local governments are Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni, Ahoada West, Abua/Odual, and Ahoada East.

The Zonal Coordinator, South South of NEMA, Benjamin Oghene said the flooding might occur as a result of expected heavy rainfall.

He called on authorities in the affected local governments to take proactive measures to reduce the effect of the expected flooding.

Meanwhile, Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, Felix Obuah has again urged Rivers residents and those doing business in the state to adequately remove and dispose of their wastes at only government approved receptacles and stop discharging refuse into creeks, canals and other waterways in the state, to allow for free flow of water and avoid flooding.

Obuah gave the warning while reacting to reports of fresh cases of flooding in some parts of Port Harcourt and other Local Government Areas of the state.

He also observed with dismay, the building of houses and fenced walls on waterways, warning that such buildings and fenced walls would be demolished to give way for free flow of water on streets and roads.

He said Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike had directed de-silting of canals following heavy rainfall and floods this year and ensure that the predicted floods in some parts of the country including Rivers by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, is adequately tackled.

According to Obuah, rainfall alone does not necessarily cause floods rather human factor like dumping of refuse in creeks and canals, thereby blocking waterways and resulting in flooding as witnessed in some parts of the state.

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