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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Flood claims 16-year-old in Bayelsa, victims cry for help

A 16-year-old boy, Temedi Yerimene, has drowned in the ravaging flood at Igbogene Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Bayelsa flood
A flooded Igbogene Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State

The flood reportedly pushed the remains of the teenager into a deep canal in the area and they have yet to be recovered.

It was learnt that the deceased, in company of his playmates, went swimming in the rising water close to the Bayelsa Ecumenical Centre.

He was said to have been overwhelmed by the high current of the flood which pushed him into the deep drainage channel.

Efforts by the community search party to locate the remains proved futile as half of the community has been submerged.

The mother of the deceased known in the area as Mama Caro, in tears, said the tragic incident happened at about 11a.m. on Monday, October 10, 2022, while she went to market to get ingredients for preparing lunch.

“When I came back from the market, I was told he had gone swimming with friends.

“I thought he was swimming in the rising water at the compound until one of his friends told me that he had been dragged by the flood into the canal,” she said

According to the bereaved, the family hails from Amabulu in Ojobo community of Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.

Meanwhile, residents of communities impacted by the floods in Bayelsa have appealed to government to find a lasting solution to the annual menace.

Some of them, who lamented the hardship occasioned by the situation, appealed for temporary shelters and relief materials as the flood had already sacked them from their residences.

A victim, Mrs. Perez Ayebanua, said their houses were flooded late last month and the menace was already taking a toll on them with reptiles competing with them for space.

Madam Florence Job and Mrs Ebi Perekeme explained that while those with resources had left their homes for hotels or elsewhere, the indigent ones got stuck and were left behind.

The residents said they were at a loss over the situation, calling on the Bayelsa and Federal Governments to come to their aid and cushion the pains caused by the flood.

Biseni, Tombia-Ekpetiama, Tombia-Amassoma Road, Akenfa, Akenpai, Igbogene and Swali all in Yenagoa LGA as well as Kaiama, Odi, Otuoke, Ogbia communities are already flooded.

Others include Tungbo, Agbere, Odoni, Bulu-Orua, Agoro and Sagbama.

A correspondent monitoring the situation reports that River Nun, its tributaries that receive waters from River Niger and the Epie Creek have all overflown their banks, discharging excess water into nearby settlements.

Other communities such as Sampou, Gbaranma  Sabagreia, Okoloba, in Sagbama, Ekeremor and Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Areas are also battling the flood.

Checks along the East-West Road indicated that the flood was already affecting some sections of it.

Worst hit is the Patani section in Delta that shares boundary with Bayelsa community, Adagbabiri, which is already submerged.

Meanwhile, schools in Bayelsa are on six weeks flood break to protect pupils and students from any disaster.

Gov Douye Diri of Bayelsa has inaugurated a task force on flood whose major mandate is to bring relief to flood victims.

However, one week after its inauguration, the team led by the Commissioner of Environment, Mr Iselema Gbaranbiri, said the committee was visiting the impacted sites and would make recommendation to government.

By Nathan Nwakamma

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