Tony Osauzo, Benin
Many residents in Edo State were rendered homeless on Wednesday as a result of a continuous rainfall that has caused flooding of homes in Anegbette, Udaba and Ekperi communities in Etsako Central Local Government Area.
A community leader in the area, Suleiman Gbagudu, while lamenting the situation, said: ‘More than half of the community has been taken over by flood, including farmland.
‘In the past, the government used to bring palliatives but this time, we haven’t heard from them at all. I am just watching from my upstairs just watching helplessly as the water keeps rising. We don’t know how long the rain will continue and if it continues non stop then we are in danger.
‘We are calling on the State Government to act fast because people’s lives are in danger. Farmlands are being washed away with their crops so we want urgent intervention from the State Government.’
Though the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Alex Oleije, could not be reached, he had said last week that the State was doing everything humanly possible to mitigate against flooding.
He said though the issue of flooding this season is a global problem, the Government of Edo was not waiting until it happens before taking action.
He also said aside embarking on a “massive” desilting of drains across the State, the Government has also carried out sensitisation programme to forestall flooding.
‘With several warnings that have been given as its concerns this year’s rains and associated consequences, Edo State Government has taken proactive measures to lessen the burden.
‘We have also carried out sensitization programme, especially to the riverine areas, on the need to ensure proper disposal of wastes and
for those in the low land to move to upland for safety,’ Oleije had said.
The Federal Government through the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had warned that Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Bayelsa States which are contiguous to River Niger would experience severe flooding in September.