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Residents flee as erosion ravages Bayelsa community

...AS several buildings, govt. institutions washed away

Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

Fleeing residents of  erosion-ravaged riverine Obogoro community, in Yenagoa Local Government Area, of Bayelsa State have appealed  to the state and Federal Government to come to their rescue as several buildings were washed away into the Ikoli River./

Famgbe community, the country home of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, is also facing the similar problem.

Obogoro and Famgbe are neighbourin  communities to Yenagoa, the Batelsa State capital, and it has continued to be ravaged by erosion for years.

Several important buildings, including school, fields, youth corpers’ lodge had been swallowed by the landslide from the coastal erosion emanating from the nearby Ekoli River.

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The latest incident occurred, Saturday night, to the early hours of Sunday, accompanied by heavy sounds which claimed about five buildings and displaced several persons .

While some were battling to save lives in the process, others around the vicinity of the ravaging natural disaster were seen packing their valuables and fleeing their residential areas for fear of any eventuality.

The menace, which has  continued to claim major parts of the community into nearby Ekoli River, hads sent residents into serious panic and sleepless nights as they do not know whose resident would be the next effected.

Following the uncertainty, the residents now appeal to the Bayelsa State and Federal Government to urgently come to their rescue and tackle the menace.

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A member of the group at the forefront of sensitising the natural disaster in the area, “The Save Obogoro Campaign”,  Mr. Ada Gwegwe, in an interview, declared that the natural disaster was threatening the whole community .

“You could see lots of persons packing out of their residents for safety”, noted Gwegwe who spoke in the same vain like Eunice Nnachi, a Journalist whose resident is located around the area.”

Nnachi, in an emotional outburst recalled that a year after a similar incident happened with all the promises of action from relevant authorities, nothing significant had been done, leaving the residents in perpetual fear.

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It would be recalled that in the month of May this year, after inspecting parts of the erosion ravaged community, Governor Douye Diri, had directed the Commissioners for Works and Infrastructure and that of the Environment to canalise the river at Obogoro community to check the ravaging erosion in the community.

Saint John’s Primary School, Ogbogoro, an area inspected by the governor is now history as it has been washed away by the ravaging erosion.

Several eminent personalities in the community, including Chief Richard Somkume and Mr. Pulu Yogo, Secretary of Obogoro community, also lent their voice to the appeals.

“The State and Federal Government should please expedite action to save the Community from going into extinction” appealed Chief Somkume.

“As the peak of the rainy season approaches with an impending flood, there is a looming danger if nothing is done urgently, decried Yogo of the landslide in  form of erosion that has washed away other important places in the community like Headmaster’s Quarters, football field and several classrooms, Farmlands with crops worth millions of Naira washed into the Ikoli River by the erosion.

Besides the washing away of the Saint Paul’s Primary School, residents are also in fear as the erosion could visit them any moment.