Flood: Akwa Ibom residents cry, seek govt intervention

Flood-hit area in Afaha Ikot Obio Nkan straightnews
Flood-hit area in Afaha Ikot Obio Nkan

Residents of more than 30 houses in Afaha Ikot Obio Nkan in Ibesikpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom have sent Save-Our-Souls (SOS) message to the state government and agencies to save their houses and property from being submerged.

This is as the flood occasioned by persistent rainfall continues to threaten to bury the entire community.

The flood caused by the construction of the ongoing multi-billion naira International Worship Centre, Banking Layout, Uyo has displaced owners and wrecked other houses leaving them in a dire state of dilapidation.

When Straightnews team visited the village on Wednesday, September 8, some residents said on a rainy day the team would not have been able to access due to heavy flooding rendering many areas in the community impassable.

Another flood-hit area in Afaha Ikot Obio Nkan straightnews
Another flood-hit area in Afaha Ikot Obio Nkan

Behind the International Worship Centre is a large drain under construction that empties the rain water into the low plain but deserted Afaha Ikot Obio Nkan village.

Conducting the team round the flood-hit area, Mr. Ekpe James Effiong, a retired school principal showed the team the house belonging to Dr. Ime Moffat, the state Commissioner for Science and Technology which is not spared by the ‘visitor’ as the flood usually goes berserk in the environs.

Mr. Effiong an indigene of the village told our team that the flood has displaced a senior operative of the Department of State Services (DSS) living in the area, one Usen Obot, and rendered cars in the compound immobile.

The flood, according to him, became severe two years ago as soon as the construction work on the project commenced, but he called for the provision of artificial embankment to check the surging water.

Besides, he called on the state government to provide an access road to them by constructing the road leading to Afaha Market and its adjoining routes, pay compensation to the affected and construct a drain to avoid epidemic outbreak in the thickly populated village.

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Mrs Faith Augustine Okon and Emem Bassey Okon, residents of the area were shedding tears as they narrated the incident to the team and the losses incurred by them and other people.

They lamented that when it rains, the whole area is flooded such that people who had gone out on their businesses could not return, those travelling out would come back to see soaked mattresses and other household utensils swept away, while those inside would have to keep vigil until the water subsides.

The two housewives were concerned that the flood has affected the patronage of the popular Afaha Market in the area by outsiders and even destroyed the major access to the market, calling on the government to provide remedial measures on the deplorable road.

However, a contract staffer of Julius Berger Plc confided in Straightnews that the problem started when the company filled and elevated the site of the centre, while structures in the neighbourhood were sunk in the ground.

The fellow who did not want his name in print, said the state government has awarded contract for the construction of drain through the affected area to ameliorate the havocs, though he did not mention when the work will commence.