October 1, 2023

TNN Newspaper

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Boat Mishap: Bodies Still Trapped in Ill-Fated Boat, Epidemic Looms

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The people of Okoroma Clan in Bayelsa State are now in danger following the pollution of their source of drinking water as a result of the inability to pull out all the decomposing bodies of the victims from the ill-fated house boat that went under the water last week. Worst hit is the Iwokiri community.

Sources told TNN that many of the bodies were still trapped in the wreckage, despite efforts by volunteers in the community to recover the bodies and whatever has remained of the boat.

On Thursday, the volunteers, including youths of Okpoama were continued with their rescue efforts but were said to have been hampered by belts with which to tie the boat. Also, one of the divers was said to have been injured in the head in the process.

Seiyefa Felix Ben-Basuo, President Okpoama Kingdom Youth Movement who has been coordinating the rescue efforts confirmed to TNN on Friday that the volunteers were getting frustrated by a number of factors, including finances and manpower.

He said: “We left Okpoama by 7am (on Thursday) and got to the scene, Okoroma. We heard a bad news that a guy got injured on the head by one of the ropes tensioned to the ground to help the boat come along simple machine.

“So we rushed to see him. He was already being treated by the doctor in the community hospital. Four divers were sent from Yenagoa to join the one we went with from Okpoama. They continued with the day’s expected task before the arrival of government delegation. Two divers, including that of our Ewoama brother, perfectly did well today.

“But the arrangement from government was very poor. Common hand gloves they didn’t provide. The divers lack belts used to tie the boat; only two was provided yesterday. So they have to go back to Yenagoa to get some belts.”

He said it was painful that many bodies were still trapped in the boat along with their property and wares. He said the waters have become contaminated for human consumption but lamented that the natives were still making use of the water as they had no alternative source.

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