December 6, 2023

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Flood Threatens Rivers Residents

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Edith CHUKU

Some parts of Rivers State are likely to experience flooding this year, as a result of the torrential rainfall which residents lament will result to starvation and homelessness if not tackled immediately.

Respondents who spoke with TNN in an interview recounted their experiences in the previous years, as they appealed to local and state government to avert a reoccurrence by employing necessary measures to prevent flooding this year.

Some areas in Obio/Akpor, Etche and Khana Local Government Areas, among others were submerged by flood after the Wednesday, June 22, 2022, rain that fell all day. Among the areas worse hit as a result of the lingering rain was the Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic in Bori and other environs in Ogoni land of Rivers State.

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The flooding severely affected homes, shops, traffic and pedestrian movement in those areas. Some residents were seen scooping water out from their houses and shops, while others carried their foot-wears on their hands, folded their trousers in other to swim their way home through the flood.

A resident, MacDonald Agbor, who spoke with TNN in an interview queried why government always appears shocked, as though the flood took them unaware while residents continue to suffer every raining season.

According to him, “flood shut down our businesses, people were almost sacked from their homes because of flood, if this rain continues like this we are finished, government should do something before it gets out of hand. This is raining season, flood should be tackled, so we don’t suffer this year again like other years.”

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In the opinion of Mr. Basil Nkpordee, who specializes in monitoring the environment, residents have major role to play to avert flooding during raining season. He said indiscriminate waste disposal in water channels such as gutters is the major reason some areas are affected by flood.

According to Nkpordee, “not only government, both government and residents of the state, mostly those areas that are always flooded will have to do the required to avert flooding.

“In the part of government, I think like in this axis of Bori, the flood that occurred that day as you saw was as a result of the negligence of the occupants that reside in Bori because one of the reasons for constructing drainage is to avert flood and then when drainage that was supposed to provide water flow is blocked with waste what do you expect?

“Dumping of waste in the drainage is the major cause of flood during raining season, so, I think government is supposed to provide a dumping site where inhabitants are supposed to go and dump their waste, and government will later evacuate them, but residents will have to adhere strictly and stop dumping waste in drainages.

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“Again, government should be able to set up a special task force committee that will monitor the activities of those that reside in those areas. Like in Bori, during raining season, the moment rain start falling you will see people that will come out from their various yard and start dumping waste in the gutter, now when rain fall and water do not see anywhere to flow, you know water is not a friend and is not an enemy to anybody, so when it did not see anywhere to flow the next thing is to spread and it will cause flood.

“I think these are the things government should do, government should just put up a monitoring team that will monitor the activities of the inhabitants of those areas during raining season, most especially the street and the road that has drainage, they should be able to monitor those areas, the moment they get two or more persons arrested others will learn, they should set up a special force for the perpetrators of this act, I think this issue of flood during raining season will be minimized drastically.”

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