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Floods sacks Rivers community, damage crops

Olamide Francis, Lagos

Torrential rainfall leading to heavy flood has sacked residents of Akinima and adjoining communities in the Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Residents can now only access their homes with canoes. They are also forced to prematurely harvest their cassava and other farm produce to avoid waste due to heavy flooding.

Some of the residents, who aired their oppinion on on Thursday, said they were fed up with the government for neglecting them, adding that it was now difficult for them to feed.

One of the residents, who strapped a baby to her back and holding another said, “We are looking for what to eat. Our farms are in water now and there is no means of survival. There is no way for us to even save our cassava inside the water.”

A farmer, who gave his name simply as Felix said, “Food is our major problem now. We need rice, beans and garri. Let the government help us so that we can feed our families.”

Most of the farmers blamed politicians and powerful individuals for their woes, claiming that money and relief materials meant for them have been diverted.

As of the time of filing this report, officials from the state Ministry of Health have arrived to assess the situation, as confirmed by the South-South Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency, Ibarakumo Walson.

Walson stated, “We went there for assessment last week. That is the first phase of flood disaster assessment. We have captured the communities; we are sending our report and recommendations to our national headquarters.

“Before now, we were talking about mapping out places for displaced persons. Now, it is response that we are doing. This means when we go out, we take these people to those places; that’s what we are expected to do.”

He solicited the support of the state and local governments to properly assess the communities and get the factors right.

In October 2018, residents of Ahoada West complained about how 20 out of the 200 bags of rice donated by the Police Officers’ Wives Association to flood victims in the area were looted a few hours after the donation.

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