Concerned with the plight of the Deltans affected by the recent coastal flooding in some parts of the riverine areas of the state, the government is poised to extend relief materials to the communities to ameliorate the hardship visited on them by the flood.
It would be recalled that recently, communities along the coastal line of Delta State including Bomadi, Burutu among others, have been affected by coastal flooding following the systematic opening of some major electricity dams in northern part of the country namely Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro dams. This led to destruction of houses, farms and other properties.
Explaining the cause of the coastal flooding, the Honourable Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Barr. John Nani said that there are buffer dams in the country that receive water from Cameroon part of which is stored in their reservoirs, adding that in the presence circumstance, Cameroon has released large quantities of water into one of the buffer dams, Shiroro Dam, adding that since the dams’ reservoir capacity could not cope, it had to systematically release same to flow to the Atlantic Ocean. In the process, communities along the coastal line of the state have been affected by flooding from the water released, thus causing destruction of properties, farms and homes of the people of the affected communities.
He said: “The issue of coastal flooding we see now in Bomadi, Burutu and other coastal communities is as a result of the water released from Shiroro dam. It is a buffer dam. We have about three buffer dams in Nigeria that collect the water that is coming from Cameroon. But they need to flow through this state to the Ocean.
“What we are seeing now is temporary. When the dam’s reservoir is over-filled, the water is released systematically so that it can flow into the Ocean. The water is released systematically because they are buffer dams. That is why when there is coastal flooding, it cannot be more than one or two weeks before the flood will recede.”
Explaining further, Nani said that the state government was aware that some of its citizens living in those communities affected by the coastal flooding, pointing out that their plight will be ameliorated by way of extending succor to them. He added that there was nothing the government could do to check the coastal flooding, noting that it was a phenomenon common to coastal communities in other parts of the world.
“I’m saying that those people whose properties were affected or their houses affected will be ameliorated by way of giving them succor. But there is nothing really that the government can do. Even in some parts of the world this year, there were some countries that witnessed coastal flooding. But in our case, the state government is coming with remedial measures. You might not recover 100 percent what you lost to the flood, but you must get something as a relief.”, he said.
The Commissioner disclosed that the affected communities should be expecting relief materials from the Bureau of Special Duties in Asaba, adding that the government has also written to intimate the federal government of the effect of coastal flooding in some communities in the state and, according to him, “we know full well that the federal government would respond favourably to the plight of the communities in Delta State.”
He however noted that the state government response will depend on the availability of fund just as he commended the state government for being the only state in the country that was ravaged by flood this year, but there was no casualty.
“I have done my best. I can safely say that Delta State is the only state that was ravaged by flood and there was no casualty because we were proactive, and so, the flood did not result in casualty because we were prepared against it.”
Contribution By David Jenkins