Most communities in Bayelsa have been flooded leaving the residents grappling to keep their heads above water.
The government have however said that they are looking for long lasting solutions and not a short term plan in order that lives in the state are saved
It is not uncommon to hear news of flooding and several victims of it, including those who are sometimes drowned in the process, the inhabitants of Bayelsa are usually plagued with flood at this time of the year
The floods do not only take the children but adults as well. In Kaiama community, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government, 38 year-old Catholic priest, Fr Francis Ighorurhie was also lost in the flood waters some weeks back.
The flood, which had unfortunately drowned several children in Yenogoa is not keen on drowning children alone, as adults face the same issue as well
A 38 year old Catholic priest, Father Francis Ighorurhie in Kaiama community, 2020 Opokuma government area was lost in the flood waters several weeks ago
Already this year, it is estimated that about 80% of communities in the state are flooded and countless houses submerged.
In previous years, the state government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) always set up Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps for victims of the flooding. This year the situation is different.
Several victims of the flood where interviewed and they expressed their displeasure about their loss of properties.
Some of the victims faulted the government for not offering assistance even after the huge losses they had recorded as a result of the Covid-19 lock down
“It seems we don’t have a government at the moment in Bayelsa State,” Pastor Fetua Marcus, an indigene of Akenfa 1 community, said.
“People are suffering too much in this flood. Some don’t have where to lay their heads at night not to talk about what to eat and the government is not taking any action about it, it’s pathetic indeed,” he said.
Another flood victim narrated her bitter experience in the flood issue, stating that her family had had to room in a small space that had fortunately been provided by a generous person after the flood had banished them from their home.
“It’s about one month and a week since water took over our home,” she said. “Our property have been destroyed, and we were helpless until somebody helped us with accommodation where my six children are staying now. My husband is staying at another good Samaritan’s house.
“So we survived this disaster by the grace of God, no help from the government at the moment, but we still believe in God that the government will do something about our plights,” she said.
Mr Commissioner said their suffering this year is compounded by the lack of assistance from the government.
“We have not seen anything this year,” he said. He said the cold and the mosquito bites they have to endure may cause them to fall ill.
“We don’t get help from anywhere, that is why we are pleading with the government to help us alleviate this suffering,” he said.
The governor of Bayelsa state, Douye bemoaned the current state of the community during inspection, promising that his administration will not abandon affected persons
He also promised that relief materials would be sent to victims of the disaster as a temporary measure.
“I will continue with this visit to empathise and sympathise with our brothers and sisters. Let me assure all of them that as a state we are with them.
“We also appeal to Mr. President to immediately come to our aid, particularly with respect to the ecological fund and all other funds available to ensure that our people are not neglected.
“I have directed the Vice Chancellor of the Niger Delta University to immediately explore and ensure that a department be created for erosion control in the institution, because government is working to proffer a permanent solution to the flooding challenge,” he said.
The victims have however reiterated that they are yet to receive any form of assistance despite the promise
Consequently, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in collaboration with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and the Disaster Response Unit of the military (DRU) and other relevant security agencies have agreed to assist flood victims in the state with relief materials.