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Wednesday 24 October 2018

Delta residents laments Govt neglect as flood ravages, displaces riverine communities

•Govt should come to our aid by constructing shore protection to save us
•Govt response to our case is very poor
•Riverine communities have been left to their fate – FOHURAC   
...As one year old baby found dead under bed in Delta Ijaw community

By Chukwuemeka Chimerue, Chief Editor and Enaibo Asiayei | The Biafra Times

October 24, 2018

DELTA – Residents displaced by flood at Ogodobiri, Gbekebor and other communities in Bomadi and Burutu Local Government Areas of Delta State, have appealed to the Federal and State Governments to, without delay, send food and other relief materials to them to save the starving and sick victims.

Secretary and spokesperson of Ogodobiri community, Mr. Felix Okpe, who spoke for the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, at Ogodobiri, told newsmen that affected persons still cooking in their canoes were hungry and have nowhere to sleep.

“We are calling on the federal and state governments to come to their rescue by providing them food and relocate them to IDP camps. Many of them are also falling sick with different ailments,” he asserted.

Chairman of Gbekebor community, Mr Ayakpo Akiefa, and the urban secretary, Mr Tonfa Cyprian, in a statement, called on the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Federal Ministry of Environment, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC and Delta Ministry of Environment to immediately come to their aid.

He said that the entire residents of the community have been rendered homeless by coastal flood, which destroyed farmlands and property worth millions of naira belonging to community folks.

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He also confirmed that displaced residents were currently living on raised platforms and rafts, as the community is located in the deep mangrove.

“The Gbekebor case is peculiar because of the collapsed seawall coupled with the geographical location of the community, which is located along the River Forcados flat, that is, on the direct water current.

“Therefore, the community is appealing to the federal government to come to our aid by constructing shore protection to save us from the perpetual fear on yearly basis.”

Meanwhile, a non-governmental organization, Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusaders, FOHURAC, yesterday, accused government of abandoning many of the affected riverine communities in Delta state.

National president of the group, Cleric Alaowei, Esq., in a statement, said its Disaster Response Team, DRT, that visited affected communities in Delta state discovered “that the responses of the governments at all levels to the plight of these communities are very poor.

“All of the communities visited by our team, only few of them received relief materials from the local government councils.

“In Burutu, the council only sent relief materials to four communities where over 70 communities were affected. The local government chairmen of Warri North, Warri South, Burutu, Bomadi, and Patani LGAs did not show any concern by visiting these communities to ascertain the level of damage.

“In Warri South West Local Government Area, the council chairman sent relief materials to a good number of the communities affected. The same thing applies to Warri North and Bomadi Local Governments respectively.

“In the same vein, no state/federal government team has visited these communities unlike what is being done in the upland areas. The riverine communities have been left to their fate to suffer the excruciating effects of the flood.

“We cannot rule out epidemics and acute starvation as we earlier alerted the world. Just three days ago, a lady lost her one-year-old child to the invading flood at Bubougbene community in Burutu Local Government Area.”

The group asserted: “The lackadaisical attitude of the governments at all levels towards these communities is aggravating the whole thing. We are made to understand that the Delta state government has set up a Flood Management Committee to cater for the victims of the flood. Our grouse is that why are the riverine communities not being considered in the government’s programme? Are they not part of the state?”

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FOHURAC added: “To our chagrin, the same committee which had built IDPs Camps in upland areas for the affected communities there has paid no attention to the riverine dwellers. The case of the riverine people is utter abandonment by the committee.”

Flood Disaster: One-year-old baby found dead under bed in Delta Ijaw community

People of Bobougbene community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State are reeling in anguish as the devastated flooding situation in the locality continues to take its toll on the hapless citizens.

The latest horrifying experience in the community is the death of a year old baby whose lifeless body was found under a bed on Saturday night.

The community chairman, Mr. Eyoro-ere Mienebigbagha, disclosed to our Correspondents that, “we heard a loud cry from our neighbour’s house at twilight and because of the flood we have to use canoes and paddled to their house and what we saw was the dead body of their daughter, Keme-akpo.”

While narrating the heart-shattering ordeal, Mr. Destiny Polobiri, father of the dead baby, said: “since the flood has submerged our homes to windows level, we have to set up alternative platform as bed to sleep until the flood stops. But what we got is a big blow as I lost my first daughter to the flood.

“When we woke up this morning we could not see our daughter, Keme-akpo, on the bed and I jumped from the bed to the water, searching everywhere.

“I scattered the platform we raised; behold my daughter had drowned and it was her lifeless that behold my sight.”

However, Mr. Champion Milo, the grandfather of the baby expressed his displeasures, that since the community submerged, no government agency nor the local and state governments has made any move to relocate them to a safer place.

“This is how we will continue to suffer until the flood is over. My pain is that the government is insensitive to our plight. This is a sad moment.”

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