Adventure, thrill on the water to Gbaramatu
By Fejiro Jimitota
It was yet another busy morning and day in the oil rich city of Warri, Delta state. Precisely on Monday, August 23, 2022, people scrambled to open their shops and resume the day’s business. The streets were not left out; they were as a matter of fact filled with vehicles and workers.
The GbaramatuVoice media team headed to the Miller jetty in Warri South Local Government Area to join a boat. It was adventurous. The destination was Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area.
Departing the NPA waterside jetty about 9:51am and after about two hours later we were, at Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri south West local government area, hometown of High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka, Tompolo.
We felt the smell of ocean breeze in the air with a hint of thick crude oil. The crude brought much pollution to the water, altering the beauty of the water. Not only had the water that was affected by the crude, the vegetation, and mangroves not been left out. Water plants and trees, dried up, with not a single sign of life in them, their roots & shores, covered in black oily substance, known to be crude oil. As the waves rocked and battled with our boat; this left some of us drenched and in cold.
During our journey we caught sight of different oil vessels, Well-heads, oil pipelines marked with colours , indicating that they are crude oil facilities.
It was my first trip to any riverine community. It was a beautiful site. We saw canoes, boats, with various occupants, conveying commercial goods to nearby markets.
As we went further we passed through different communities: Inikorogha, Azama, Kunukunuma, Kurutie, Ubafan, before finally reaching Oporoza, the headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom.
Approaching the jetty where we got off the boat, ladies in our boats were made to tie their hair and for the guys, they were to take off their caps. I gathered later that we were driving through a special part of the river.
In the Oporoza community we were entertained and welcomed by natives.
We went visiting other communities, Benikrukru, the place seems to be rich in perewinkle. We got to Kokodiagbene.
From all I saw on that day, at that time and in that place, one thing stands out; aside from environmental degradation, devastation and outright pollution, the area is stared of social infrastructures, schools in particular.
It is imperative that both the state and Federal governments, in the interest of the people, bring more development to the riverine areas.
On our way back home after a successful job was done, we came across an area called Pepe-ama, when translated it means home of pepper. It is very likely residents grow pepper farms in the area or they trade more on pepper. Well! This will be a story for another day.
It was a worthwhile trip.
Fejiro Jimitota, a student on internship programme at GbraramatuVoice, 400 Level Mass Communication student of Western Delta University, Oghara.
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