Posted by News Express | 1 October 2017 | 1,925 times
Bayelsa residents in Tombia and environs have lamented flood impact and neglect by government as River Nun, a tributary of River Niger has overflown its bank submerging settlements along its bank in Yenagoa Local Government area within Bayelsa capital.
It was gathered that the residents of Tombia community in Ekpetiama kingdom, found out that flood had overtaken the community from Monday, September 27.
The flooding followed a surge from the River Nun which burst its bank on the night of September 26 as inhabitants are now left in shock over the development as vast farmlands with crops, houses and other valuables have been overtaken by the rampaging waters.
Some of the residents in the area who narrated their ordeal on Sunday said some houses as well as farmlands and fishing gear had been lost to the disaster which has been increasing in intensity.
Bayelsa was listed by the Nigerian Meteorological Services Agency (NiMet) as one of the flood prone states in its 2017 rain forecast.
President of the Ekpetiama Youth Association, Mr. Peter Otobotekere, said the community had been experiencing perennial flood challenge since the 1950s appealed to government to come to their aid.
He noted that the plight of the people had been tabled to government severally to no avail to save their ancestral land from extinction.
“We have been exposed to perennial flash floods for as long as we can remember but following the warnings of impending flood from the federal government due to the weather predictions for the year 2017 we expected government to do something to mitigate it.
“It is usual for the water levels to rise at this time of the year which often helps our fishing vocation but the level has reached a crisis point, and sadly there is no contingency for us who are vulnerable to flooding,” the youth leader said.
Community members say only a shoreline protection infrastructure would save the area from the perennial flooding challenge they face when the river overflows its banks.
When contacted, Mr Williams Alamene, Bayelsa Commissioner for Environment, said that he was yet to be aware of any flooding incident in Tombia community. He advised the reporter who called from the area to visit to community and see things for himself.
He declined to comment of the preparedness of the state to mitigate the impact of anticipated flood as the state was listed as one of the flood prone states.
There have been indications of rising water levels across the many river banks across Bayelsa in recent weeks.
Mr Alagoa Morris, a renowned environmentalist, had urged the state government to act on the available disaster warnings and improve on its flood preparedness to mitigate the effect of any likely flooding incident.
“He said that there were danger signs as many communities near the Bayelsa flank of the East-West road were already receiving excess water from River Nun overflowing its banks,” he said.
Bayelsa was amongst the worst hit states in the 2012 flood disaster which resulted to the setting up a flood committee.
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