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Flooding: Yenagoa Residents Call For Urgent Dredging Of Epie Creek

By Obiabin Onukwugha

Residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital have called on the Governor, Duoye Diri, to urgently dredge the Epie Creek in order to curb the incessant flooding experienced during rain fall and improve their living conditions.

Yenagoa is surrounded by the Epie Creek and residents have attributed the flooding often experienced to the blockage of the canals linking the creek to the river.

The residents who spoke to journalists who were on a tour of canals in the state, lamented that successive administrations in the state have failed to come to the aid of residents who lose their personal effects to flooding during rainy season.

The residents noted with dismay the neglect of the Epie Creek in Yenagoa.
They stated that the creek, an important water body in the region, suffers from poor water quality due to waste disposal and human activities.

Pastor Tariebi Blessed Kalakai, a resident who spoke to the journalists on the issue said rather than tackle the flooding through dredging of the canals, government has often embarked on preliminary measures.

He said: “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, that is all. 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 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.”

Tariebi further stated residents have suffered government neglect, despite the billions that comes into the state.

He said the government’s inability to take proactive steps has continued to affect not only residents along the communities but even relations of top government officials.

He attributed the continued neglect as lack of government political will to address flooding in the state.

One of the participating journalists, Eunice Nnachi told NatureNews that the oversight was borne out of the need to hold the state government accountable to their responsibilities.

Meanwhile, environmentalists have highlighted the impact of water hyacinth blockage on the creek, which they say was causing economic hardship and loss of livelihoods for residents.


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