Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Mr. Onyeka Okeke is not a happy man. He is a victim of the ravaging flood caused by torrential rains in parts of Delta State. The furious flood has wreaked havoc on his property including his means of livelihood.
Okeke who is the chairman of landlord association in Obodogugu phase II of Okpanam town in Oshimili North Local Government Area of the state is blaming the contractor handling the state government’s erosion control project, Tractix Engineering Company for his woes.
He said the flood channeled by the contracting firm was affecting homes in the area especially when there is downpour, adding that fences, buildings among others have been destroyed each time the flood come calling.
“Two years ago, precisely on May 2, 2017, the same company did same thing. I wrote petition to the governor to come and see the sand they used in blocking the waterway. Later, the flood came and destroyed my house, vehicle and everything.
It was only the cloth I wore that day that was with me. Later I spent N11 million to rebuild my house and other things. To my greatest surprise, only N500,000 was given to me by the state government maybe as compensation.
“In 2018, the same company destroyed my fence, and when I approach them, they kept mum, and nothing was done. I have to rebuild my fence.
“Now, this year, the worse again happened. In the morning of Thursday June 13, 2019 morning I saw another hip of sand along the water way. I approach the supervisor of the company who refused to speak but one of the workers confided in me that, the sand was used to prevent flood from encroaching on the casting, which they had done.
“Few hours later, I was in the shop, when I received a phone call during that heavy rain, that water has taken over my house. Behold, when I got there, I could not recognise my house. My two cars were floating, all my livestock died, my fence was already down.
“Over 200 birds, 10 goats and a dog were killed by the flood. Not only were they dead but they were swept away by the flood. As it is now, I have nowhere to sleep,” he lamented.
Also, a resident in the area, Mrs. Onyebuchi Dolphin narrated her ordeal saying: “I was at work, when a friend of my in the compound called me that I should come home, that flood has taken over my house.
“When I got home, I saw my mattress, a box containing my school certificates and my children school bags floating on the water outside. I thank God that my two children were not at home because the fence fell on my window side which also the affected the house.”
A single mother of four, Blessing Ojika, narrated how flood destroyed “all our property, even my pot of soup was washed away by flood.
“The children and I escaped death, I did not know how we scaled the fence to other side, it was God that saved us.”
As a result, Okeke and some residents called on the state government led by Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to come to the aid of the community and save landlords in the area, alleging that activities of the construction company were denying landlords of their means of livelihood.
They appealed to the governor to terminate the contract of Tractix, insisting that the action of the company in its bid to remedy the flooding situation has caused more harm than good to residence of the emerging community.