Village head, residents flee as flood destroys houses

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Flood has rendered at least 500 residents of Urua Ekpa, Afaha Oku and Udo Usanga streets in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, homeless.It also submerged the home of the village head of the affected area, Chief Okon Mkpong, when reporters visited the area.Mkpong told reporters that the flood displaced him from his palace and that it was beyond what the village could handle.

He said over the years, the community had written letters to successive state governments to save it from the annual flooding, to no avail.

“The community has written to governments. To date, nothing has happened. Since 1999, nothing has happened. If it was possible the community would have addressed the problem.

“It is difficult for us. Governor Udom Emmanuel should come and help us. We are all members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It is sad that even the village head’s residence is under water. Yet they say Akwa Ibom is beautiful,’’ Mkpong said.

A trader, who simply identified herself as Mercy, expressed displeasure that the flood displaced many residents and crippled their businesses.

She said students of the University of Uyo, who were the majority of tenants as well as those who were doing businesses in the area, had already left to safe locations.She attributed the flooding to the construction of new roads such as Udoette, UNIUYO, Itam Market areas, among others.

A resident, Mr Titus Sunday, said anytime it rained, his room was flooded, and he had nowhere to relocate.

“My room is flooded anytime it rains. When it rains like two or three hours, we relocate from our rooms. If you were here on Monday when it rained, you would not come up to this point,’’ he said.

A property owner in the area, Mr Ekpe Asuquo, said that residents could not quantify their losses over the years. He appealed to the state government to assist.

Mr Kufreabasi Edidem, the member representing Itu Constituency at the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, said he had brought the problem of the people to the notice of the state government for possible intervention.

He said that officials of the National Emergency Management Agency had visited the community and distributed some relief materials to residents.

The lawmaker appealed to the people to be patient.

He said the problem of the community would be addressed in the 2022 state’s budget.

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