Flood Displaces Many, Forces Closure Of Schools In Bayelsa, Delta

Flooded area
Flooded area

Flood has continued to ravage more communities in Nigerian Bayelsa and Delta states, displacing thousands, washing away large farmlands and forcing closure of schools.

In Bayelsa, the flood, which has gotten to window and lintel levels in some communities, has severed access to some.

At Biseni settlements in Yenagoa local government area, the community could no longer be accessed by road as a substantial part of the state capital, Yenagoa, especially Tombia, Akempai, Agudama-Ekpetiama and others is flooded.

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, who toured some affected areas, raised alarm that more 70 per cent of communities in the state have been submerged by the raging flood.

The convoy of Governor Dickson had to be turned back when the people came out in boats on the tarred road to say that accessing the area by road had been rendered impassable by the raging flood with rising water level.

Also, the governor’s entourage visited other submerged communities: Sampou, Kaiama, Odi, in Kolokuma/Okpokuma local government area and Sagbama, Bolou Orua, Toru Orua, and several others in Sagbama local government area where with the desperate people in need of shelter for relief materials.

Dickson noted that the severity of the flood made the State Executive Committee and the State Security Committee to take a decision during their meetings on Friday to close all schools in Bayelsa with immediate effect to enable the management to take the students to their parents.

He described the flood as a major disaster which had affected the state with thousands of people rendered homeless.

The governor also identified some public premises which were not affected by the flood for immediate conversion to temporary internally displaced camps in the state.

He called on the Federal Government for urgent support to the state to combat the humanitarian challenges thrown up by the flooding emergency.

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Dickson also called on the Federal Government to declare a flood emergency in Bayelsa, noting that the coastal state which is below the sea label was omitted when the government declared emergency flood situation in four states -Kogi, Niger, Delta and Anambra – on September 18, 2018.

He argued that the flood situation in Bayelsa was inevitable as the entire state is below sea level with all the major rivers and tributaries through which water flows from the River Niger and Benue to the Atlantic Ocean.

He said that the state government had set up a Special Committee to manage the flood situation comprising top government officials and the security services under the leadership of the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah.

Also, representative of NEMA, Mr. Kayode Fagbemi, said that having observed the pathetic flooding situation in Bayelsa during the tour of the affected communities with the governor, he would report his findings to Abuja.

He said that the agency had sent 20 of its staff to the Bayelsa preparatory to the anticipated flooding in the state.

In Delta State, the ravaging flood has wrecked havoc in different parts of the state, including Beneku community, Ndokwa East local government area of the state, submerging buildings including the country home of Mr Friday Osanebi, the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly.

Farmlands, plantations, agricultural produce, fish bonds, the community market and schools have also been submerged by the natural disaster.

Its state government has assured victims of the ravaging flood taking refuge at the six government’s established holding camps of quality provision of health care services.

Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Health, Mrs Minnie Oseji who gave the assurance during her supervision visit to the Camp Clinic at Ogbe Afor Primary School, Asaba, said the visit afforded her the opportunity to meet with the health team with a view to ensuring that all relevant health services were available at the Camp.

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While emphasizing the need for keeping of accurate health records to enable proper planning of health services, she said the Camp clinic would be operating round the clock on a daily basis with enough Medical Doctors, health workers deployed and essential drugs stocked for dispensing.

Reacting to the spate of the flood which has overtaken most parts of the council area, Osanebi described the development as sad and devastating.

He said: “This natural disaster really came hard on my people but thank God no life was lost. The extent of damages done the source of livelihood of the people which is farming is however a thing of big concern, and I commend my people for their calm disposition in the face of the problem.”

Also, Mr. Kayode Fagbemi, the Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, NEMA, commended the state government for being proactive in handling the effects of the flood.