July 22, 2024

Residents flee as flood submerges houses in A’Ibom

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Residents flee as flood submerges houses in A’Ibom

Ini Billie, Uyo

Residents of some communities in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State have lost their houses and means of livelihood to flood as heavy rainfall begins.

Three such communities within the Uyo metropolis have been submerged by flood despite the state government’s interventions in erosion and flood-prone areas.

Residents of Nung Obio Enang along Stadium Road, Urua Ekpa axis and Afaha Oku villages recounted to our correspondent the damage the flooding of their communities had subjected them to.

They revealed that the flood water has displaced residents of the Nung Obio Enang community from their houses as many buildings within the locality have been submerged, forcing both landlords and tenants to flee for safety.

At Nung Obio Enang community located between L& L Hotel along Godswill Akpabio’s International Stadium by Julius Berger yard around Qua Iboe Church Primary School, Idoro road, findings showed that more than 32 houses have been submerged by flood water.

One of the victims, Mr Etop Effiong revealed that the flood has been a perennial problem that has lasted for about 12 years, adding that the problem started after Julius Berger constructed the stadium road during the administration of Senator Godswill Akpabio as governor.

Effiong experienced that the construction company lifted the road without providing a drainage to channel the water away from the houses, saying whenever it rains, the water overflows into their homes.

“During heavy rainfall and throughout the rainy season, we have to quit our houses to stay with neighbours for one or two weeks before water dries up in my house.

“This is my predicament and other residents of the area for many years now. This house can collapse anytime,” he stated.

His wife, known as Eka Esther lamented that she had lost almost all her clothes to the flood, especially each time it occurred in the night, adding that the tricycle used by the husband for commercial purposes had been destroyed by the flood.

“Last night I didn’t sleep. Look at my husband’s tricycle there, it is spoilt beyond repairs. We can’t repair it anymore. It was our source of livelihood. Now, no house to live in and no means of livelihood all because of the flood.

“Governor Umo Eno should please come and rehabilitate us and others, check the flood here because we don’t have anywhere to live with my children throughout this coming rainy season,” she appealed.

Another resident, Edem Udotong who lives behind the community primary school said pupils cannot walk to their school because the flood was a threat to their lives.

“This morning, I cried for one little girl who fell into the flood water, but I rushed to rescue her. Who knows whether she would have drowned,” he said.

Youth president of the community, Mr Nsikak Eddie urged Governor Eno to extend his generosity to victims of flood in the community and embark on a flood control project in the area.

“Let Governor Umo Eno show us mercy. The people here have deserted their homes,” he said.

In Afaha Oku community, it was learnt that more than 50 houses had been swept away by the flood.

The village council appealed to the governor to intervene as the flood was fast causing an erosion that was encroaching and eating away some portions of the community.

They revealed that the effects of the flood were visible along Akan Eton Street and other adjourning streets and caused severe hardship to residents.

In a ‘Save Our Souls’ letter written by the village council and signed by Eteidung Emmanuel Eka and Secretary, Sipol Cosmos Ebong, the community leaders said flood has threatened the foundation of the village as many buildings have collapsed.

The community which hosts the University of Uyo appealed to Governor Umo Eno to award the contract to rehabilitate the affected roads so residents can return to their houses.

“We write to remind you of our earlier report to the State Government on the erosion menace affecting the Afaha Oku Community in the Uyo Local Government Area which has submerged some buildings and many buildings badly threatened to collapse.

“The worst affected areas are Akpan Eton Street, Nabor Street and their sojourning streets. Akan Eton Street was motorable but today, it is condemned and turned into a very bad gully with some buildings submerged.

One of the affected landlords, Mr Titus Jerome Udoh, a retiree who vacated his home said his house, located at No 8 Akpan Eton Street, off Ekpene Ntan Street was threatened by erosion when a construction company diverted flood water from Urua Ekpa and its environs into Akpan Eton.

“I was forced out of my house as a result of the approaching gully erosion, which has turned Akpan Eton Street into a ravine. The entrance of my house was badly affected. Hence, I relocated and stayed with my dependent family members in a rented apartment.

“You can imagine what life has become for me and my dependent relatives in a rented apartment for almost five years now. So please I am appealing to His Excellency, Governor Umo Eno to please, do anything within his power to restore us to our home,” he begged.

In Urua Ekpa area, residents said the perennial flood forced them to relocate to other places while their houses were submerged in the flood, noting that the condition of the area became worse when the state government awarded a flood control contract to Benest Engineering; a local vendor who messed up the project and threw the entire Urua Ekpa community into irredeemable flood.

They urged the state government to come to their rescue and resettle them.

Pictures:

Flood sites at Nung Obio Enang and Idoro in Uyo

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