Re-Channel Flood Water, Victims Plead With Govt
From Ochei Matthew, Asaba
Several government ministries, agencies, private homes and fish farms in Delta were submerged by flood on Tuesday leaving workers and other residents with fear of being drowned.
Consequently, fish farmers in Camp 74 have called on the Delta State government to urgently re-channel the flood water from Okpanam Road, which overflowed the narrow canal and is threatening to put them out of business.
According to them, the narrow canal to the Anwai River is not wide enough to contain all the waste water coming from the Okpanam Road and some other parts of Asaba, and has resulted in the flooding of their natural fish ponds and polluting the water with debris and chemicals.
Vice-Chairman of the Camp 74 Fish Farmers Association, Mr. Bright Odhomo, who spoke on behalf of the farmers, lamented that the situation was compounded by the rains which fell consistently over the past four days, carrying the fish from the ponds into the fast flowing
canal, and polluting others pond with dirt.
His words: “Some of the farmers have lost hundreds and thousands of fish, both fingerlings and matured table-size fish which were washed into the canal. Some came here to meet empty ponds. For others the water has gotten polluted and we have been picking out dead fishes in some ponds for about two days.
“This is a major threat to the agriculture agenda of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, which is to create food security in the state and also create jobs. As it stands, some people are already at the risk of becoming jobless if this trend continues, especially with the fishes falling sick and dying due to polluted ponds.
“What we are asking the government to do is re-channel the flood water through the Temple Clinic to the River Niger. The canal is too small for it, and it needs to be dredged and widened to accommodate some of the water. The water can have one or two discharge points.”