Niger Delta

Flooding: Ekpeye communities lament FG’s insensitivity to their plight

…accuse SETRACO of blackmail and incompetency

Dr. Patricia Ogbonnaya narrates how the people of Ekpeye have been suffering.

The people of Ekpeye communities in Rivers have decried the insensitivity of the FG over their plight due to the impact of the 2020 flood in the area.

A retired Civil Servant, Dr. Patricia Wudigha Ogbonnaya narrated how the people of the area have been suffering while the government looks away. She states that the flood which was occasioned by the consistent rainfall destroyed every means of their survival in the area.

“Our farms were being overrun by the flood and the farm produce destroyed. Our people lost their homes to the flood and have become refugees yet the government doesn’t care. What type of government will see her citizens in the state that we the Ekpeye are and will not be sensitive enough to help us”?

Recall that the people of Ahoada-East and Ahoada-West local government areas of the state were ravaged by flood in 2020 which resulted in displacement of people from their various homes and destroyed their means of livelihood.

Nearly one year after, nothing has been done as a respite to their plight even after the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was on ground to ascertain the level of damage.

The people of Ekpeye are within the Mbiama axis of the East West road where SETRACO is currently working. Dr. Ogbonnaya who accused the contractor of incompetence said that the flood issues would have been averted if the contractor actually knows his job.

She alleged that some engineering work that would have helped to rightly channel the water into the River was ignored and rather than owning up to their failure, they resorted to cheap blackmail, against our people, myself in particular.

Dr. Patricia inferred that all hope is not lost if the FG will recognize their shortcomings through their agent (SETRACO) and begin to think on how to remedy the situation. She posits that the SETRACO can construct the carnal and culverts required on that road which the absence contributed in no small way, to the flooding in the entire Ekpeye communities. When this is done, the issue of flooding may likely be a thing of the past.

“There is no need for the Engineer in charge of the job on behalf of SETRACO to live in denial of what the real issues are, instead he prefers to cast aspersions on my person and all others who have suffered great loss, as a result of inefficient delivery of the job as assigned by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, to SETRACO, a known construction giant”, she said.

The highly vocal princess of the land who rose to the position of Permanent Secretary in the State Civil Service before her retirement, wondered why the company would look the other way while the people of the area continue to suffer untold hardship occasioned by flood which have remained unchecked by the Government and the contractors on the road.

She opined that rather than trade-blames, the company alongside the supervising ministry ought to engage the communities along the road, with a view to proffering solutions to the constant menace of refuse dumping in the canals, which no doubt have further heightened the colossal damage to our farms.

“It is sad that individuals like myself, who have struggled to engage in food production and sufficiency through farming, without any government funding are daily losing our crops, livestock, and fishes without any compensation from the government, while the East-West road is being reconstructed”, she said.

Dr. Ogbonnaya therefore called on the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to intervene in the matter in order to avoid a descent into violence by the people who are already suffering due to the effect of the flood.

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