No fewer than 500 rice farms at Okpotuwari and Ondewari communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have been submerged by floods, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko, Chairman, Rice Farmers Association in the state, who inspected the submerged farms on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, called on the federal and state governments to come to the aid of the affected farmers.
At Ondewari, a community leader, Prof. Itimi Godwin, said that the rice farms were ready for harvest before the disaster.
“We need a lot of things, particularly we want the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come and see the level of damage done here.
“As you can see, this is a colossal loss; we are calling on the federal government to come to our aid, as the people here are suffering. We need relief materials such as rice, garri, cement and roofing sheets,” he said.
NAN recalls that NEMA had earlier said that over 150,000 people have been displaced by flood in Bayelsa this year.
The site manager of Ondewari Rice Farm, Mr Fredrick Adam, said the loss was colossal and the farmers would appreciate immediate support from government.
Also, the Paramount Ruler of Okpotuwari Community, Chief Tiger Moses, said that the community was expecting bountiful harvest before the flood.
“As you can see the flood is very disturbing, our crops have been destroyed, fish settlement and plantain farms are also damaged.
“We want the assistance of the federal government and other stakeholders; right now, our sources of water have been contaminated,” he added.
By Shedrack Frank