Royal father wants FG’s assistance over natural disaster in Eastern Obolo LGA
Worried by the threat of natural disaster that has hit Eastern Obolo local government area of Akwa Ibom, the paramount ruler, HRM Harry Etetor has pleaded with the federal government to come to the aid of his people in Emereoke kingdom to avert the community from being wiped off.
Emereoke kingdom which comprises five recognized villages and other communities had witnessed a massive flood with three children reportedly killed and several houses submerged following the Atlantic Ocean surge.
The communities which are located at the estuary of the Atlantic Ocean with pristine beaches constantly under threat of the surge with the island being a fishing settlement facing constant erosion of erosion.
Speaking in an interview, Etetor who is the Llile IX of Elile made the appeal after a team from the state emergency management agency and the national emergency management agency visited the community to assess the extent of damage caused by the flood.
“I am calling upon the federal government and the multinationals to come in. The state government should send in relief materials and then the multinational oil companies operating in the area
“The number thing is to give them relief materials, secondly, what that community needs are sand filling and reclamation and embankment and that is not what the local government can do. It may be difficult for the state government to do that too.’’
The Royal father who consoled his people said though the people had been advised to relocate to a nearby school in the area, he noted that the community school was been the worst hit being located in a shallow area adding that there is no way that community would have been able to move.
“It is a pathetic situation. That had been warning of flooding whenever we have a high tide. The unfortunate thing about this community is that the government says when any community experiences flood, everybody should move to the school. But the community that is involved, the school is the worst hit, it is a swampy area. Outside that community, there is no way that the community would have been able to move.”
He said though the oil companies operating the area have been informed about the disaster, they have yet to respond and appealed to come to the aid of the community.
He lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for awarding a contract for the construction of the 8.5 kilometre Okorette-Elile-Amadaka-Kampa road saying he is the governor to have awarded the contract for the road projects in the local government area.
The Paramount Ruler called on the governor to direct the contractors to return to the site of the project in which work had stopped for a while to ease the movement of people in the area.
Speaking earlier, the village head designate of the Emereoke ii, Joshua Mathew Ayagwung said the flood occurred on September 20th adding that the people witnessed an undeserving natural disaster lamenting that the community is where the money crude oil is got from yet there has been no social amenities in the area.
Maintaining that the community does not want relief materials, he said the people want the community to be protected from being wiped away so the children unborn would know their ancestral homes.
“Please take our pleas to the federal government. We want embankment that will last a long time. Please liaise with other agencies that can provide us with an embankment. What we want is shore protection. This community gave birth to what this country is enjoying because it has the largest reservoir of oil and gas deposits. We need good drinking water too,’’ he said.
In her response, an official of the National Emergency Management Agency, Maria Kaku said the team in the community on the directive of the director-general of the agency to assess the extent of damage promising that assistance would come to the people of the community. ‘Accept our sympathy, we beg you, surely, there will be assistance.
Experts say it would cost about N6 billion for an embankment to constructed around the 8.5 km shoreline to prevent the community from being washed off by the surging Atlantic Ocean.