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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Flooding: Dredge Epie Creek, Yenagoa residents urge Bayelsa govt

Some residents of Yenagoa have urged the Bayelsa State Government to dredge the Epie Creek to prevent the yearly flooding in the area.

Douye Diri
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State

They made the call when members of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists visited the canals and drainage system around the Yenagoa metropolis.

The residents also noted with dismay the neglect of the Epie Creek which had led to yearly flooding challenges experienced by the residents.

According to a resident, Mr Tariebi Kalakai, the creek, an important water body in the area, has suffered from poor water quality due to indiscriminate waste disposal and other human activities.

He said that there had been calls for the canalisation of Epie Creek to prevent floods and enhance economic activities in the area, adding that such calls were not heeded.

According to him, environmentalists have also highlighted the impact of water hyacinth blockage of the creek, causing economic hardship and loss of livelihoods for residents.

“Government should dig up the creek; it will go a long way to check the yearly flooding that has affected most houses beside the creek. But most times government go on crash programme when flood comes.

“The real solution to this creek is to pile from Igbogene to Government House. Government should partner with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and do it in phases, the people will be happy.

“Government is a continuum, if this government can’t complete it, another one will continue with it.

“The major problem of flooding in Bayelsa State is the Epie Creek which is connecting all the communities. If government can dredge it above flood level, it will help,” Kalakai said.

He said that residents have suffered due to failure of government to take care of the situation.

“The government’s inability to take proactive steps will continue to affect not only residents along the communities but even relations of top government officials.

“We decided that let’s be suffering and smiling because we are all affected, even their relatives,” Kalakai said.

He attributed the continued neglect to lack of government’s will.

“We see it as a poor state of our government despite the huge amount of monthly allocations that accrues to Bayelsa,” he said.

Another concerned resident, Mr David Igidi, also alleged that the state government was causing the sufferings of residents around the Epie Canal.

He said that residents had witnessed the presence of snakes corpses from a mortuary around the area during flooding as well as armed robbery.

“The neglect of the Epie Creek is caused by government. There is no official bridge connecting communities by the canal.

“Government should open up this creek; every day, during flooding period we pay lots of money to get to our houses.

“Snakes are all around our houses during the flood, armed robbers also have their field day here. Corpses flow from a nearby mortuary to our houses during flood.

“The whole creek is made up of plywood bridges, constructed by community efforts, and most of them are prone to accidents,” he said.

By Shedrack Frank

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