The Governor of Bayelsa State, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, has raised the alarm that over 70 percent of the communities in the state have been submerged by the raging flood in the country.
The Governor spoke to journalists during a tour of communities severely affected by flooding with representatives of the National Emergency Management Agency, members of the state security committee, the Police, the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence and others.
A statement by the Special Adviser to Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, on Sunday, stated that the Governor spoke to journalists in the middle of a road in front of his father’s compound at Toru Orua, with water rushing at a bewildering rate from the Forcados River into the community.
The severity of the flood was such that some of the communities have been cut off by the increasing flood level which has got to window and lintel levels in others.
The governor and those who embarked on the tour with him observed that Biseni community and settlements around it in Yenagoa Local Government Area could no longer be accessed by road.
The convoy of cars had to be turned back when the people came out in boats on the tarred road to say that accessing the area by road had been rendered impossible by the raging flood with rising water level.
Also, Governor Dickson and his team visited other communities which were submerged by the raging waters with the desperate people in need of shelter for relief materials at Sampou, Kaiama, Odi, in Kolokuma/Okpokuma Local Government Area and Sagbama, Bolou Orua, Toru Orua, and several others in Sagbama Local Area.
A substantial part of the state capital, Yenagoa, especially Tombia, Akempai, and others are seriously affected by the flood.
Governor Dickson said that the severity of the flood made the State Executive Committee and the State Security Committee to take a decision during their meetings on Friday to close down all schools in Bayelsa with immediate effect to enable the management to take the students to their parents.
He described the flood as a major disaster which had affected the state with thousands of people rendered homeless.
The governor also identified several some public premises which were not affected by the flood for immediate conversion to temporary internally displaced camps in the state.
He called on the Federal Government for urgent support to the state to combat the humanitarian challenges thrown up by the flooding emergency
The Governor who called on the Federal Government to declare a flood emergency in Bayelsa observed that the coastal state which is below the sea label was omitted when the government declared emergency flood situation in four states – Kogi, Niger, Delta and Anambra – on September 18, 2018.
He argued that the flood situation in Bayelsa was inevitable as the entire state is below sea level with all the major rivers and tributaries through which water flows from the River Niger and Benue to the Atlantic Ocean.
He said that the state government had set up a Special Committee to manage the flood situation comprising top government officials and the security services under the leadership of the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah