As floods submerge whole communities in Delta State, despaired residents are calling on the Federal Government to dredge the River Niger and save them from the hardships and embarrassment of being displaced every year.
With the river overflowing its banks, homes schools, markets, farmlands, churches and every amenity in Abala-Unor, Abala-Obodo and Abala-Oshimili communities have been deluged as the residents seek refuge on floating devices and suspended platforms.
However, these stranded residents have refused to relocate as instructed by the state government but called on the Federal Government to intervene and dredge the river to save them from their predicament.
Speaking with newsmen, the monarch of Abala Kingdom, HRM Obi Frederick Egbunkonye, lamented ‘’We have been crying that the Niger is dredged to accommodate the rising volume of water, hyacinths plugging the waters be cleared as well as embankment of the shorelines and the fixing of our roads’’.
HRM Egbunkonye also worried about the abysmally disrupted academic calendar of the only school in the community by the COVID-19 lockdown and now compounded by the flood disaster.
Explaining why they did not relocate, Chief Christopher Oseme said, ‘’last year, we abandoned everything and went to camp based on the promise of compensation which was never fulfilled’’ adding ‘’not every one of us has a brother or sister elsewhere who will cater for them’’.
For Chief Jonas Onwugbenu of Abala- Obodo community, ‘’I do not know if we are still part of cooperate Nigeria because since the floods of 2012, we have been completely neglected after we lost everything’’.
Meanwhile, the youth-leader of Abala- Unor, Mr. Mike Dialor and his counterpart of Abala-Oshimili, Mr. Onyekwelu Okafor, said that youths of the flooded communities have become discouraged in embracing agriculture owing to their losses to the floods.