Business is booming.

Hope fleeting for Sangana community in Bayelsa State as ocean surge persists

By Obiabin Onukwugha

Most communities in Bayelsa State, South/South Nigeria face extinction as a result of ocean surge that is exacebated by climate change.

Bayelsa, a coastal state sits below sea level, with most communities ashore the Atlantic ocean.

Sangana community in Akassa kingdom, Brass Local Government Area of the state is among communities with bleak future as ocean surge and coastal erosion eats into it on daily basis.

The coastal erosion has destroys homes, properties and as well livelihoods of the people.

Sangana is host to about seven operational oil companies drilling oil, thereby contributing to the economic wellbeing of both the federal and Bayelsa State governments.

However, help is far for the Sangana people as they fear their ancestral home may be wiped out completely in the next 10 years if something urgent is not done.

Several letters and protests by the community has yielded little or no fruit as promises made have not been backed with action.

The Amadabo of Moko-Ama Santana, King Moses Theophilus Kenibara VII, who spoke recently on the plight of the community lamented that the coastal erosion does not spare traditions and customs in its ravaging mission.

According to him, economic trees and schools are also not spared as the waters have consumed a substantial part of the community.

The traditional ruler decried that the erosion was propelled by operations of the oil industry, that has also disrupted the economic situation of the people.

He said: “The erosion has depleted our land; half of the community has gone. Over the years, this community has been a very prosperous community with a lot of people that stayed here.

“But today, the story is no longer the same. The economic situation has been disrupted by the incessant operations of oil industries within the domain and that has also resulted in the erosion that has created a lot of depletion of our land.

“Some year ago, there was an intervention that came here and that was done by the Federal Government and today that work too has already been cut off because the erosion and the wave turbulence is so massive.”

In March this year, the community was jubilant after a delegation from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), led by its Managing Director, Dr Sam Ogbuku, visited and promised to tackle the scourge urgently, employing modern technology.

The delegation revealed that the visit was a directive from the presidency to urgently tackle the erosion and save the lives and properties of the people.

However as days turn to weeks and weeks turn to months, the people watch helplessly as their homes and artifacts are washed away.

With no hope in sight as to when the NDDC project, which was once abandoned will recommence, the fate of the people now hangs on the balance of the vagaries of climate change.


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