From Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Coastal Erosion following the continued rainfall in the entire Ndokwa East Community in Delta State has destroyed economic crops worth millions of naira, displaced over 8,000 residents of Alika- Abala Oshimili Communities and consumed the Palace of the traditional ruler of Aika Community, HRM, Akor Emmanuel Chukwudebe Obiechina as he was forced out to neighbouring village where he currently takes refuge.
Investigation revealed that the Palace of the traditional ruler like most of the houses, has been completely under water since August 2019, and during the weekend, the monarch has mobilized workers to remove and recover the aluminum windows, corrugated iron sheets used in roofing the palace and other family houses including other property as part of the palace and other family buildings are currently under threat to carve into the River Niger following the impact of the coastal erosion.
Further investigation revealed that the entire community had been submerged with the houses swallowed up to five to six feet from the ground as the people are at present in trauma and confused on the steps to be freed from the situation.But the traditional ruler in the area, HRM, Akor Emmanuel Obiechina who spoke to Journalists in the area, confirmed that he had abandoned the Palace as it was no longer safe for human habitation to neighbouring village, adding that all the family houses were destroyed inside the water which has swallowed them up.
According to him, the community was not unduly worried about the flood as they had contended with it for several years ago to no avail, disclosing that their concern was the rampaging erosion that had consumed several houses and still advancing to existent the village and recalled that River Niger was far as two kilometers away from residential areas in the 1870s, adding that his Palace was 150.feet away from the river as at July this year, but the erosion had advanced into the building, forcing him to take the onaly option of recovering the roof and property.
While regretting the fate of his people as the coastal erosion was still advancing, the monarch who claimed to be 80years old, said that the recovered roofs might be used to set up a temporary camp for accommodation after the flood season, adding that the people were tired of the yearly pilgrimage to Internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp and appealed to both federal and state governments to find a lasting solution to the menace of the flood and coastal erosion.
He said: “the government should deploy a dredger to sand fill and recover lost shores and the people had nowhere to go to because it was not easy to abandon their ancestral homes , it is really difficult for us now and we don’t know where to start from at all, it’s a big problem for us as a people.”
But the state Commissioner for Special Duties, Mofe Pirah said that the state government was working out modalities to ensure the people are safe adding that the erosion menace was beyond the state government rather it would be Joint efforts of the state and federal governments to offer a lasting solution to the problems, especially during night falls and seasons.