By Samuel Oyadongha
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has urged National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to correct the misconception that only three local government areas suffer from flooding in the state.
Diri, who spoke in Yenagoa when officials of the agency visited the state, said the whole state was flood-prone.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the governor explained that Bayelsa occupies the lowest part of the country, where all the waters from River Niger and River Benue pass through to empty into the Atlantic Ocean.
Accordingly, he said the entire state experiences flooding and its devastating effects every year, pointing out that it was wrong on the part of NEMA to single out Ogbia, Nembe and Brass as the only flood-affected areas in the state.
According to the governor, most parts of the three councils captured in NEMA’s document have brackish waters and, therefore, suffer less flooding than other councils.
He listed the most impacted areas to include Ekeremor, Southern Ijaw, Sagbama, Kolokuma/Opokuma and Yenagoa, where communities are flooded every year.
Assuring NEMA of the state government’s readiness to support it carry out an objective assessment of environmental challenges facing the state, the governor reiterated his call on the Federal Government to pay more attention to the development of Bayelsa.
He said: “I thank you for this visit. But let me use this opportunity to correct the misconception that only three councils experience flooding in Bayelsa.
‘You specifically mentioned Nembe, Ogbia and Nembe. But that is not the true position of things. These places, particularly in Nembe and Brass, have brackish water. So, flood threat is not as high as the freshwater areas.
“On the converse, parts of Southern Ijaw that do not have brackish water, Ekeremor, Sagbama, Kolokuma/Opokuma and Yenagoa are the areas that usually have high probable flooding.
“So, the truth is that the whole of Bayelsa is flood-prone and must be treated as such.
“I can tell you that even this Government House is under threat. If not that we have done a semi dyke, you would have seen the water very close by now.”
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