•Worsens roads, erosion sites •Rojenny, Okpoko Community worst hit
BY NNAMDI OSELOKA in Onitsha•
For those resident in the Anambra State, the current rainy season is not the one to remember at all for obvious reason. Their sad story is the menace of flood consequent upon the down pour which have killed their children or relations or destroyed their goods, the place they do business and property worth huge amount of money.
The sad story of flood this season began with the death of four bankers working with one the leasing Banks in Nigeria at Oboukwu road in Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Area of the State.
This was followed by the story of a child who was swept away by flood at Obi Land by Benjamin Street in Onitsha, one woman at Upper Iweka and two people along Onitsha – Asaba Expressway near the Bridge Head. Furthermore, no fewer than three children were reported dead again at Okpoko at the last count with bodies of the two out of the children still missing as at press time.
Chief Edwin Emesinwa the President General of Okpoko Development Union who confirmed the devastating effect of flood in Okpoko to The Oracle Today observed that flood has made life extremely difficult to the residents of the densely populated community, adding that some families have lost their homes to the menace of flood.
“Flood is hitting us badly, not less than 20 houses harbouring many families have been damaged by flood this season. The number could be higher and as you may have known, the houses are face me, I face you, so the number of families in one house could be five, six or more, so if you calculate it, you will find out that a large number of families have been displaced in Okpoko by flood” he added
In addition to lose of lives and damaged houses which require huge amount of money to fix back, people have also lost goods and means of livelihood. According to Emesinwa, a lot of people mostly women have lost their chances of doing businesses as their kiosk and joints in front of their house where they fry Akara, sell Okpa, recharge cards, biscuits, bread, minerals, sweet, fruit and other things have been swept away.
Also at Obodoukwu road at the back of Coca Cola Plant, along Onitsha Asaba Expressway women mostly widows who deal on fruits and vegetables also suffered a heavy attack from flood which swept off their goods such as fresh maize, garden egg, water melon, plantain, pineapple, tomatoes, vegetables and orange.
A maize dealer and a widow who gave her name as Sister Gloria told The Oracle Today that her business is ruined by flood adding that she lost 13 bags of maize on her return from business trip.
“I am finished, where can i source money to pay those I borrowed to buy the goods. And the worst is that I borrowed with an agreement to pay interest everyweek, what can I do, how do I feed my children, pay house rent and other bills, I don’t have anybody to run to. This is just too much of a burden on me” she lamented
Another major victim of the heavy down pour of the season is Rojenny Tourist and Games Village Oba where flood pulled down the major part of the main entrance gate and other places inside the village. The flood also boosted menace of deadly erosion inside the village and its environs making the road that leads to St Gerald Catholic and vision Estate impassable both by trekking and driving.
The proprietor of the village Chief Rommy Ezwonwuka (Ogilisi Igbo) who conducted journalists round the village said that flood rising from the down pour overwhelmed the gutter and drainage along Owerri road and stormed Rojenny to wrecked havoc adding that newly erected buildings and walls were completely pulled down.
Ezwonwuka said that the main entrance gate was the victim while the flood also destroyed some buildings at the staff quarters and the walls fencing the staff quarters down to the wall fencing the zoo.
Asked to estimate the cost of damages, the Ogilisi Igbo who ia a member of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Board of Trustees BoT) said that he cannot estimate the cost off hand, noting that the most important thing is to put measures to prevent further occurrence.
He said, “I cannot estimate the cost of damages off hands because they are too much, my worry now is that the rain is still falling and further attack from flood will cause more damages, so I am appealing to the State government to come to the rescue and save Rojenny from being destroyed by flood
“As you can see, the flood went round the village and boosted erosion menace, the road leading to St Gerald Catholic Church and Vision Estate, one cannot walk on the streets not to talk of plying a vehicle there, the worst is that some buildings are being threatened by erosion on a very serious note.
Also speaking a landlord at Vision Estate, whose house is located beside Rojenny zoo, Mr Frank Ogechukwu lamented that he no longer drives to his house and the worst according to him, is that his house, a two-storey building is under threat by erosion.
Mr Ogechukwu further lamented that erosion is about pull down his house and there is nothing he can do as an individual to save the situation and called on the State Government to kindly come to his aid and save his house.
Further checks by The Oracle Today gathered that the menace of flood has worsened the condition of roads in some parts of the State and residents are calling on Governor Willie Obiano to the rescue. From Onitsha to Obosi, Nkpor to Ogidi, Ogbunike down Nteje enroute Awka the State Capital the conditions are bad and getting worse and residents and visitors are not comfortable about it.