Bayelsa community raises flood alarm, seeks govt. intervention



Otuoke Community in the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa have called on the Federal and State Governments for intervention against predicted flooding.

Mr John Okubowei, Chairman, Otuoke Community Development Association, made the call on behalf of the community during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Otuoke.

He noted that the association had identified canals, creeks and some blocked natural waterways, which needed to be opened to avoid a repeat of the 2022 flood disaster in the community.

Okubowei said the community, as a kind self-help following her experiences in the 2012 and 2022 ravaging floods, had since cleared the blocked natural waterways and even pulled down structures erected on them.

According to him, the community did not have the wherewithal to procure equipment and manpower for the desilting and opening of creeks and canals identified as possible flood flashpoints, hence their appeal.

NAN report that Otuoke is the host community of the Federal University in Bayelsa, and also hometown of former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan.

It would be recalled that Otuoke community was among the worst-hit by the 2022 flooding, which wrecked havoc on both humans and infrastructure.

The flood displaced many residents and destroyed properties, even as warnings have been given to signal another impending flood few months from now.

“In 2012, this community like many others in and outside Bayelsa suffered from ravaging floods. Last year 2022, this community was among the worst-hit by floods in the state.

“Though in 2012, because we quickly raised alarm, soccour also came our way quickly. However, the community didn’t receive much attention during the 2022 floods.

“We’re calling on the Federal and state governments, all stakeholders and all relevant agencies of the government to come to our aid.

“Government should build Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and other facilities which will cater for the needs of the community as the floods are coming.

“Government must not wait until the floods start proper before putting these structures in place. It may be too late then.

“Luckily, we have identified creeks, canals and other channels through which the floods affects this community.

“But as we speak, we’ve not seen the government clearing any of the blocked canals or creeks in this community like they’ve done in some parts of the state,” he said.

Okubowei said possible flashpoints of the floods in the community are the Ebirimo, Ologakpo, Elabio and Okiko canals.

He emphasized that clearing of the Elebele-Otuoke-Ogbia Town Creek was very significant toward curtailing the impending flood.

He said that when the identified areas are taken care of, it would minimise the impact of floods on the community.


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