Large portions of Eliozu community in Obio/Akpor local government were taken over by flood last week. Also, portions of Airport Road where the Salvation Ministries Church is located, Eliozu Market as well as Slaughter were submerged in flood water.
The Bridge that link Eliozu with other communities was not spared by water angrily pushed out from ‘Mini Woo’.
Commuters who wanted to go to Eliozu had to take Airport Road through various bush tracks. Many commercial vehicles which took that route got stuck on the bridge as a result of volume of water which covered it.
People living at these portions of the road had to literally swim in and out of their houses. Many residents including a middle aged woman who spoke to our correspondent said they lost valuables to the flood. “My kitchen utensils, including pot of soup was filled with water”, the middle aged woman lamented.
RD Road at Rumuodara appears to be the worst hit by the flood arising from the two days of heavy rains that hit Port Harcourt.
Emma, a resident of RD road said their mattress was on top of water when they woke up after the Tuesday down pour.
“Snakes and other dangerous reptiles even entered our rooms. We were able to kill two snakes”, he told our correspondent.
Residents of Eneka, Elimgbu, Atali and those living at Rumuodara portion of East-West road told sad tales of how flood destroyed their property. “We lost electronics, food items and other household materials”, one resident lamented.
“For two days we did not go out of our house to do our business because flood water covered our houses”, another resident, Njoku Ibe said.
Residents of Nkpolu, Rumigbo had gone beyond lamentations, and are now battle ready to deal with the persistent flood that have taken a toll on their lives and businesses.
The road leading to Nkpolu community has been abandoned because large volume of water had taken over the place, particularly portions of East-West road up to Apara Community Secondary School.
Last year it was reported that a pregnant woman who could not be easily conveyed to hospital because of the nature of that road died. Her death had reportedly sparked off protests by youths of the community. Hon Solomon Eke, Obio/Akpor chairman had to intervene. Based on the volume of reactions concerning the flood at Nkpolu last year, Paramount Ruler of Apara Kingdom, HRM, Eze Chike Amadi Worlu Wodo, set up a committee chaired by former caretaker chairman of Obio/Akpor, Bright Amaewhule to find the remote causes of the persistent flood and make recommendations.
The committee had recommended among others, opening up of block drainages and constructing new ones that will run from Nkpolu to Rumuokoro.
The committee also heard that some powerful people built houses on drains right-of way, thus preventing water from flowing smoothly.
Our reporter could not ascertain whether the recommendations were put to use.
A community leader in Nkpolu, Chief Graham Wodi said Nkpolu flood had become intractable and called on government to find solution to it.
For Chigonum Worlu, former youth leader in Esara Kingdom, the solution to the perennial flooding is to open the drainages, dredge the creeks/rivers or desilt them and mounting of effective campaigns against misuse of the environment.
He said people should be made to pay penalties if they threw garbage anyhow in the streets.
He suggested that the Rivers State House of Assembly should enact a law that will make it a crime for residents to throw wastes in the streets of Port Harcourt.
The Vortex newspaper had last month published a detailed report on the likelihood of flood ravaging Rivers communities with the aim of alerting various tiers of government to take pre-emptive measures.