…We have not benefited anything from Okowa’s government, say residents
By Shina Badmus & Enaibo Asiayei
Gbekebor, a community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, an Ijaw community known for fishing, have for a very long time been suffering from land erosion.
The community is gradually going into extinction as its boundary has been ravaged by the unending activity of erosion.
Although the community has for long tried to savage the situation and prevent further erosion, the effort have only created a temporary solution to the problem. The solution, which was brought forth in the form of barricading the shorelines of the community with irons and wood, so the water doesn’t eat up part of the land, has not yielded the desired result.
Over the years the makeshift barricade has not been able to stand the test of time. The woods and the iron have been slowly eaten up by the constant pressure of the water which has made the erosion to continue at a fast pace.
GbaramatuVoice spoke with the Chairman of the community, Mr. Stephen Akiefa, who described the situation as an eyesore, adding that they have being suffering from the problem of erosion for a long time and various attempts by the community to solve the problem seem as if they are only delaying the inevitable.
According to him: “Before now, the government promised to pile the water front for us. But I tell you, for the past years we have been suffering from this. And as you can see we on our own have been mobilizing ourselves to do a construction to make sure we accommodate ourselves.
“As a community that is united, we mobilise and tax ourselves from each quarters so as to be able to go on with the project. Sometimes each quarters bring between N300,000 to N400,000 so we can be able to do what we can”.
He expressed his disappointment for the activities of the government, most especially the Delta state government, adding that they played a good role for them to be in government but are not benefiting from the dividends of democracy.
The community’s major problem is not only erosion but also flooding during the raining season. This happens due to the constant rise in water level as rain falls which leave the community in a devastating state; as a result most of the inhabitants of the community have to leave their homes to neighbouring communities.
Akiefa appealed to the government to come to their aid and help prevent the disaster that is fast encroaching in their community.
“We are begging the government to please attend to our needs, because as far as we know, we have voting rights,” he said.
Speaking on the flooding issue, Akiefa said: “Especially at this period of flooding my people are going to park out of the community again”.
The youth president of the community, Apelebiri Ziakide, speaking with Gbaramatu Voice, said, “we want the government to make do on their promise.
“We are begging the government, most especially the state government, to come to our aid in terms of pilling the community, because in recent times they promised us that they will come and pile the community but we are still waiting up till now we have not seen anything”.
Ziakide added that as the water is rising, just few weeks from now, water will flood the community. Moreso the community don’t have good water system and this have left them soley dependent on the water from the river which in most instances is not hygienic and constitute a health hazard.
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