ONOGBA URGES FG TO DREDGE RIVER NIGER TO SAVE COASTLINE COMMUNITIES FROM PERENNIAL FLOODING

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The perennial flooding of communities on the bank of the River Niger has been attributed to the shallowness of the river which is currently heavily silted.

Delta State Commissioner for Environment, Pastor Chris Onogba, stated this on Tuesday when he took a boat ride to the Oko axis of the River Niger to ascertain the water level.

He observed that the water level was normal, but regretted that previous floodings had claimed property worth millions of naira, while many others, including the residence of a former State Chairman of PDP, Chief Edwin Uzor, at Oko Odifulu, were at the risk of caving into the river. 

Onogbo said the monitoring of the water level was a proactive measure that would enable the governnent take informed decision on the fate of residents of coastline communities to prevent the loss of lives and property.

The Commissioner stated that the government was not considering the setting up of camps for would be displaced persons because of the Corona virus pandemic, but would do everything possible to reach out to them wherever they might be, even in the most remote villages.

He advised residents of communities on the bank of the Niger to be on the alert always, as flooding might not only come from the rains but also the emptying of the dams in neighbouring countries which would cause the river to overflow its bank.

Onogba said the monitoring would be regular to avoid any emergency and reiterated that governnent would remain passionate about the well-being of the people.

At Oko Odifulu, the Ozoma Onya of the community, Chief Basil Onyaka, said he and other indigenes had lost their property to the River Niger and blamed the perennial overflow of the bank of the river to its shallowness.

Chief Onyeka thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the relief materials sent to them when the community was submerged in water in the past. 

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