Residents flee homes as floods ravage Asaba streets, slam callous council officials over tenement rate demand

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Following a heavy down pour of rain today, floods have taken over some homes and streets in Asaba.
Badly affected are the residents of Abuta, a suburban community on the banks of River Niger in the Delta state capital territory, who started fleeing their homes and going in search of more safe and secure areas.
Residents have deserted their homes, as some of them were seen using tricycles and wooden boats to evacuate some of their belongings.
Also greatly affected churches, including the Pasture of Life Church has been completely taken over by the flood, while Celica Church of Christ and a branch of Deeper Life are under serious threat of being ravaged by the flood.
Workers at the Pasture of Life Church were busy salvaging what was left of the church’s property as they were dismantling the air conditioners mounted on the walls of the building.
A resident in the area who simply identified herself as Mama Faith lamented that her children had not eaten for about 24 hours when the flood started, adding that there was simply no place to set up fire for cooking.
Another resident, Jonathan Okonkwo said his apartment has been submerged, and that if the situation deteriorated, he would relocate to ‘A’ Divisional Police Station with his entire household to seek refuge.
“When you came last week, the water was far away but this morning, look at the length it has covered. Nobody is in this building as we speak. My room is full of water. And government is not listening to us. They are telling us to move out but where are we moving to? Where is the money to even move in the first instance?” Okonkwo queried.
James, another resident, complained that authorities as Oshimili South Local Government Area were insensitive to the plight of the people affected by flood.
James alleged that some officials of Oshimili South L.G.A came to collect tenement rates from residents.
He said: “Rather than sympathise with us, they told us that they came to enforce tenement rates as imposed by Oshimili South Local Government Area.
“They came here and were asking us to pay money as tenement rates. They even had the effrontery to lock up some houses that are yet to be visited by the flood. How wicked can a government be.”
Meanwhile, the state government had a fortnight ago urged residents in the coastal areas to move to safer grounds following the prediction by the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) of heavy flooding this year.
Delta Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Ernest Ogwezzy said plans were just underway to establish emergency camp in Asaba, Kwale, Ughelli, Sapele and Warri.
Ogwezzy told officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that the state government had identified possible safe grounds that could be used to set up Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), camps and had also sent a memo to the governor, requesting to stock its warehouse with perishable and non-perishable items to be used as relief items to the prospective victims.

Ogwezzy said: “As a result, the Delta State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), felt is expedient to inform all stakeholders in Delta State to ensure that they are on red alert and all hands on deck in preparing for the flooding that had already commenced as predicted by NIHSA so as to reduce the effect of the flooding to the barest minimum.
“In addition to this, sensitization jingles to enlighten Deltans, particularly riverine communities of the state on the dangers of the impending flood and for them to evacuate their homes is currently on-going in the State.”

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