The monarch of Oko-Anala in Oshimili south local government area of Delta state, His Royal Majesty,(Dr.) Eze Osita I, Akor of Oko Anala kingdom, has called for the intervention of the Delta state government as his entire kingdom has been submerged in flood.
While speaking with journalists who accompanied the immediate past Council Chairman of Oshimili South local government area, Bar. Chuks Greatman, the monarch described the situation as an annual challenge which the entire Oko communities face.
He noted that year in and out, the peoples’ agricultural products and household properties were destroyed as their farmlands and houses are submerged in the flood due to the overflowing of the River Niger, adding that this annual menace has brought untold hardship and sufferings to the entire people of Oko clan.
The monarch said that whenever flood destroys their agricultural products, his people suffer a great deal of hunger and lack, noting that 2012 flooding was very disastrous in the community which left the people with sad experiences.
While praying that this year’s flood does not exceed its current state before drying up to enable the community return to its normal lifestyle, he said that school children cannot even resume school activities like their mates in the upland until the flood is over.
He said that the communities are still expecting intervention from the state government to set up Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps as other states of the federation have done so that the people could have a place to stay temporarily until the flood is over.
Also speaking was the immediate past Council Chairman of Oshimili South local government area, Barrister Chuks Obusom listed the communities affected to include Oko Anala, Oko Odifulu, Oko-Amakom, Oko-Umuoko, Oko Ogbele and Oko-Obiokpu.
He noted that the entire Oko communities were badly affected, saying that the level of destruction is devastating as the people now have no option than to harvest their farm products prematurely.
While noting that agriculture, which remained the communities’ only source of livelihood and social life have been adversely affected, he expressed hope that government intervention would help in ameliorating the sufferings of the people.
He assured that he will interface with government, SEMA, NEMA, office of special duties and ministry of environment for urgent intervention as he prayed that the situation does not go beyond its current level.
He noted that this year’s flood is not the first time but a yearly occurrence because of the terrain of the community, situated at the bank of River Niger, saying that government has always in the past provided intervention by way of rescuing the people and keeping them temporarily in IDP camps.
He noted that some persons may be reluctant in leaving the community due to their past experience in IDP camps which yielded no tangible result.
The education secretary of the local government, Chief Paul Chukwurah Oranyeli, who accompanied Greatman on the assessment tour disclosed that due to the schools being submerged in the flood, there was no way educational activities could take place.
He said that he had directed the heads of schools in the affected communities to apply for suspension of classes for three weeks to watch the extent of the flood and equally write to ‘Info Sec’, the consultant in charge of their clocking to avoid being penalized.
The special assistant to the governor on library development, Okakwu Nnamdi Ambrose, revealed that some of the community people who managed to rescue some of their properties out of the communities have their properties stolen.
Also, the PDP Chairman, Ward 2, Oshimili South LGA, Prince Austin Ugboma, said that he was in the community on Saturday but was surprised at the level the flood has increased to in less than 24 hours, expressing optimism that the government will soon come to their aid.