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Massive Flood Submerge Delta Residents, Cripples Commercial Activities

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Rampaging flood in parts of the country has trapped residents of Gbekebor community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State as it submerged the community completely.

At the time of filing this report, stranded residents were seen living in harsh conditions with no assistance coming their way.

Educational and business activities including worship centres were not spared as they were forced to close down by the flood.

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Chairman of Gbekebor Community, Mr. Ayakpo Akiefa, who spoke on behalf of the community, said the flood paralysed all activities in the community.

“In fact, apart from the socio-economic negative implications of the flood on the community, high blood pressures and other health related cases are also recorded.

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“All educational activities paralyzed, schools closed down, private and public school buildings are completely submerged by the flooded water”.

The community leader appealed to the Federal and Delta State governments including the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, donors and other relevant agencies as well as ministries to come to the aid of the people of Gbekebor community.

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“Against this backdrop, the community is passionately appealing to the State and Federal Ministries of Environment, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to come to our aid and free the people from the pathetic situation,” he said.

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The Urban Secretary of Gbekebor community, Mr. Cyprian Tonfa added that the flood has also posed a serious health challenge to members of the community that now live in the forests as diseases such as high blood pressures and other deadly diseases have been recorded.

Tonfa joined the Chairman in calling on government at all levels including NEMA to immediately send medical team and relief materials to the community and to establish an IDPs camp for the already-displaced people.

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He stressed that government must urgently do this before it is too late as it is already getting late.

The President of Elders Forum in Gbekebor Community, Mr. Raymond Ebitonmo described the flood as a peculiar one in the Niger Delta, stressing that this is so owing to the collapse of the seawall.

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“But the Gbekebor case is peculiar because of the collapse of the protective seawall coupled with the geographical location of the town, which is situated along the river Forcados flat, where it is exposed to the direct water current of the river Niger,” he said.

Ebitonmo said the people of Gbekebor in recent times can’t even sleep as the flood had destroyed everything they have.

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“Consequently, there is widespread outcry by the residents over their destroyed houses, stores, carpentry workshops, bread bakeries, churches, schools, and other valuable properties consequent upon the destructive flood.

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“The entire community is living in fear on daily basis with sleepless nights, the residents are indeed going through untold hardship. Besides, almost all the Ijaw communities in the riverine areas in the Niger Delta do experience this widespread inundation.”

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