The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment Dr. (Mrs.) Minnie Oseji led a team of Officials from the Ministry to embark on a
Flood Impact Assessment Exercise on Monday 12th September, 2022 in Ndokwa East and Ndokwa West Local Government Areas in Delta State. Members of the Team included Mr. Waide Kennedy and Mr. Otega Okeme. In the Ndokwa East Local Government Council Headquarters Aboh, the team was received by Hon. Okwuwa Ezechi Supervisory Councillor on Environment (who represented the Local Government Chairman (Hon. Juan Amechee Governor),
Hon. Paul Enueme Supervisory Councillor for Education, Youth & Sport, Mr. Akpe Monday HOD Environment, Engr. Achuenu HOD Works as well as Mr. Joseph Okorugbo Deputy HOD Environment.
Some of the findings during the visit were that over sixty percent of the communities are presently submerged in flood waters at this time of the year and it is an annual occurrence. Some of the communities presently submerged are Aballa Oshimili, Utchi, Inyi, Akaraii Etiti and they cannot be accessed as the roads leading to these communities are flooded. Communities that are relative up land includes Ashaka, Okpai Oluchi, Igbuku, and Aboh are accessible by road at this time of the year but still experiences flash flood from heavy down pour as a result of blocked drainage networks. The flooding usually deprives these communities access to their sources of livelihood such as farming, logging, fishing, markets, schools, and health facilities. The team was guided to visit areas that were flooded which may benefit from short term ecological interventions to mitigate the impact of the flooding.
Efforts made by the Local Government Council and community members on flood preparedness are
i. Sensitization of the inhabitants of flood prone communities of the need to leave to safer and higher areas;
ii. Preparation for evacuation of the inhabitants of the flooded communities at the peak of the flood period to IDP camps at Ashaka and Ossisa;
iii. Early harvesting of crops;
iv. Building of houses on sticks.
In Kwale, the headquarters of Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Dr. Oseji and her team were received by
Hon. Chief Goddy Obi-Nzete, the Chairman of Ndokwa West LGA,
Dr. Olise O. Famous HOD Environment as well as other members of the Local Government Executive Council.
They were informed that the communities presently submerged include Utagbo Unor, Utagbo Ugbe, Umuseti, Umusadege, Ogume, Abai, Emuebendo, and the roads leading to these communities are inaccessible.
The team visited the Isumpe, market area and environs as well as the Ase Reservoir where the flood water is discharged. Many of the drains were observed to be blocked by pet bottles along with other debris highlighting the need for massive sensitisation on proper waste management.
The Ministry officials commended the effort of the Local Government Council in desilting the drains to open up channels for the flood water to run off.
The Permanent Secretary presented fliers on flood safety tips, proper waste management and the need to use Private Sector Participants (PSPs) in both LGAs and promised to relay their requests for assistance to the State Flood Committee through the Honourable Commissioner for Environment, Chief Godspower Asiuwhu.
The assistance currently required by the flooded communities are:
i. Provision of funds to arrange for boats and vehicles to evacuate residents to IDP camps;
ii. Provision of food, clothing and other accessories for residents evacuated to IDP camps;
iii. Provision of healthcare and educational facilities at the IDP camps;
iv. Provision of storage facilities for crops and animal produce;
v. Provision of seedlings (especially species that can undergo quick harvest), suckers, and fertilisers for return to agricultural activities soon after the flood.
vi. Clearance of silted drains and construction of culverts in affected communities.