Thursday, September 16, 2021

Bayelsa residents flee as erosion sweeps houses into river

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Five buildings and other property in Obogoro Town in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa have been swept into Ikoli River following a landslide arising from coastal erosion.

The incident which took place late Sunday night has displaced many locals, as scores of residents were seen fleeing from the ravaging disaster.

The residents are appealing to the Bayelsa and Federal Governments to urgently come to their rescue and tackle the menace.

Ada Gwegwe, a frontline activist in the Save Obogoro Campaign, says the rampaging waters from the  river is threatening the entire town.

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Residents, fearful for their lives, are packing their valuables and abandoning their homes because of the rampaging coastal erosion in the area.

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Mr Gwegwe called on the relevant authorities and NGOs to come to their aid, stressing that the town might soon become history if urgent and proper measures were not taken.

A journalist with Nigerian Pilot, Miss Eunice Nnachi, said previous promises by relevant authorities had remained unfulfilled, nothing that residents lived in palpable fears.

She said in May this year Governor Douye Diri, after inspecting St. John’s Primary School, Ogbogoro, which was washed away by the erosion, directed the commissioners for Works and Infrastructure and that of Environment to canalize the river at Obogoro community in other to salvage the situation.

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Miss Nnachi said nothing had been done in that regard.

An Obogoro chief, Richard Somkume, has appealed to the state and Federal Governments to expedite action to save the community from extinct.

Obogoro Community Secretary, Pulu Yogoi, has noted that as the peak of the rainy season approaches, with impending floods, there is a looming danger if nothing is done urgently.

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He said in the past the community had experienced severe landslides that washed the NYSC lodge, the community primary school and football field into the Ikoli River.

“Farmlands with crops worth millions of naira have not been spared as the economic livelihood of the people have also been lost to the menace.

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“St. Paul’s Primary School, located in Famgbe, a neighbouring community that would have served as an alternative for the pupils has long been washed into the river with children from Obogoro forced to travel far to acquire basic education,” he said.

NAN

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