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Published On: Tue, Jun 19th, 2018

Rainstorm kills 2, destroys 76 houses in Delta community

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From Osakhare Erese Asaba

Heavy rainfall in the early hours in some parts of Delta state has destroyed no fewer than seventy six houses in Idumuesah community, Ika North East Local Government Area of the state, and killed two persons.
It was gathered that the two persons were killed by zinc of their house that pulled off by the heavy storm during which they Just waking up from their sleep, and an attempt to escape, they were trapped The police in the area who confirmed the incident to our reporter on condition of anonymity said “the zinc of the victim’s house killed them, it pulled off by the heavy storm during early hours while they were trapped, the victims are” Johnson Okewe and Frank Igbenoba, we have moved their corpses to Agbor central hospital mortuary, it is unfortunate, the storm was very heavy in the early hours. “
A father of six children, Godwin Alika ,a victim of the rainfall told our reporter that, “My house was affected, I have no house to sleep, My family have nowhere to go, the rainfall destroyed my house and property, and thrown us outside.”
It was gathered that the rainfall destroyed virtually all houses in Obume street, Nehi quarters including economic crops, and farm lands.
Speaking further, Godwin Alika lamented that he finds it extremely an uphill task for himself, his children on where to stay, and appealed to the state government to come to his aid as the burden of renting three bed -room flat would be too much for him.
But the state Commissioner for Special Duties, Barr Ernest Ogwezzy who spoke to our reporter said “it is pathetic, we thank God.it was only two persons that were killed, the state government is concerned, and will do something to assist the victims.”
Another victim, Paul Adah who also spoke to our reporter, said that what pulsates his emotion was that his lifelong savings have gone down the drains, adding that he would be grateful if he could get relief from the state Emergency Relief Agency (SERA),public spirited persons, others.
Speaking with our reporter, an elder statesman in the community, Chief Chukwudi Akaye said “it was very shocking, the rainfall is first of its kind, and it destroyed many houses, we want the state government to come to our aid ,we have no houses in our community again.”
Two quarters were reported to have been affected with virtually all the houses destroyed, and the farm lands, and victims are currently taking refuge in neighbouring communities.
Bayelsa community laments pollution by oil spill from Shell’s oilfield Residents of Agoro Community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa on Monday berated the poor and slow response to an oil spill from shell’s oilfield in the area.
They appealed to the Federal and Bayelsa governments to come to their aid over the spill incident and compel Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to be alive to its responsibility in spill response.
The community alleged that several weeks after the spill that destroyed and polluted their farmlands and waterways early in May 2018, Shell had yet to commence clean-up in the impacted areas.
The Secretary of Agoro Community Development Committee, Justin Gbagbiri told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that they were still counting the losses incurred as a result of the incident.
“The river supports our fishing vocation, and it is one of our major sources of drinking. If we want to cook we use water from the river.
“But since the crude oil polluted our river, we can no longer use water from the river anymore, we have been in distress.
“We cannot use it to bath anymore, just as we cannot use it to clean up after using the toilet.
“So, the spill has affected most of our activities here. Fishing which is our major occupation has been adversely affected, as we cannot go to the river again to fish as we used to.
“What the company has done so far is that they have come around to do some recovery of spilled crude oil but no other major thing has been done. They have not even sent us relief materials.
“What they said was that, it is when the ruptured spots have been brought out and cause of spill identified, they would know if Shell will take responsibility.
“Shell also said they would do the needful only if the cause of spill is identified as equipment failure and not third party interference.
“So, we are waiting for them to come and expose the pipe for observation but nothing has been done to that effect.’’ he said.
The community alleged that SPDC was deliberately delaying the Joint Investigation (JIV) which would ascertain the cause of the oil leak.
Reacting to the development, Alice Aje, Manager, Stakeholder Relations at SPDC, said the oil firm was responding to the spill incident and sought the understanding of the community.
“We regret the spill because it has adversely affected our operations and business, we have shut operations and stopped the spill and we are in talks with our relevant stakeholders.
“It is our responsibility to clean up the spill and if it was found to be case by equipment failure, we shall pay compensation to those affected, that is our process,” Ms Aje said.
She described the spill as “regrettable and unfortunate” adding that efforts were underway to convene a joint investigative visit with community representatives to probe the cause of the spill. (NAN)

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