The Environment

Onslaught of Floods: Panic as corpses float in cemeteries 

As floods continue to ravage most parts of the country, residents of Aeroplane Road in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta have raised the alarm over floating corpses from submerged cemeteries in their areas.


This came as several communities in Bomadi, Patani and Burutu local government areas of Delta State were yesterday sacked by the ravaging flood, with indigenes sleeping on top of Bomadi Bridge.


This year’s flood is perhaps the worst in Nigeria’s history, with over 603 dead, two million displaced and hundreds of hectares of farmlands destroyed.


Corpses litter Bayelsa, Delta communities


Raising alarm yesterday over the health implication of floating corpses in their community, residents of Yenagoa in Bayelsa called on the state government for immediate action to avoid a public health crisis.


Confirming the incident, a resident, Mr Emmanuel Oden, lamented that the floating corpses had become a recurring development during floods, adding that relocation of the cemetery is long overdue.


Oden further alleged that corpses at the cemetery were often buried in shallow graves of about 3 feet, rather than the recommended six feet prescribed by law.


Another resident Mr Ebi Owoupele, pleaded with the Bayelsa State Government to understand the plight of the people and assure them that the cemetery will be relocated.


Findings by this paper also revealed that the morgue at Bomadi General Hospital and Olodiama had been submerged, also with floating corpses as a result.


Bayelsa govt reacts


Contacted, the state commissioner for environment and chairman of Bayelsa Flood Committee, Mr. Iselema Gbaranbiri, who confirmed that three floating corpses were recovered and reburied with the environment properly fumigated.


His words, “the floating of corpses were actually reported. First, as commissioner for the environment, I got the report of a floating corpse and directed my head of health and sanitation to get the corpse reburied. Later two more corpses were recovered and reburied and the environment was properly fumigated.”


Bomadi, Burutu, Patani LGAs sacked


More disaster was recorded in parts of Delta State yesterday as many villages in riverine Bomadi, Patani and Burutu local government areas of the state were sacked by floods, with indigenes sleeping on Bomadi Bridge.


They appealed to the state government and political leaders to come to their aid.


Lamenting the situation in his community, the chairman, Bomadi federated community, Mr Seleyeibo Perekeme, said neither government nor political leaders from the area had responded to their call for help.


He said: “The entire Bomadi Local Government area is submerged, with only the council secretariat still standing because of community efforts.


“We’ve been able to dislodge the flood by blocking entry points with sand-filled sacks at the community waterfront through our earlier efforts. Now, the flood level has risen and we’ve been making similar efforts but we’ve run out of resources as a community.


“So, we’ve been calling on our political leaders to help since Bomadi is the last community standing and victims are fleeing in from neighbouring communities, such as Kpakiama, Oboro, Esanma, Tuomo, Tubegbe, Koloware, Ogboin-ama and many others in both Burutu and Patani council areas. Many victims are fleeing from Yenagoa to Bomadi.


We need N2m to save Bomadi town from submerging—Community chair


“If we can get N2 million, we can buy sand and sacks and be able to block entry points along the length of the community shoreline because the youths are ready to work to save Bomadi.


“But, until this moment, there’s no response from either the state government or our political leaders at a time of pains and distress as this. We are not happy because we seem to have been forgotten or abandoned,” he said.


An activist and youth leader, Comrade Kenneth Mezeh, however, lauded the efforts of the community leader and appealed to both state government and political representatives to respond to the plight of victims in Bomadi local government area and environs.


However, the chairman, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Bomadi local government chapter, Apostle Liberty Usiayo, in his reaction, said: “We have been going round the council area to see the level of flood devastation on the people and property, and the situation is really pathetic.


“No community is safe in the council area as all eleven communities have been ravaged, with women and children seriously affected. They need immediate food and medical attention.


“It’s also appalling that until this moment, there’s no government response to the plight of victims in the council area and we, as a body, urge the state government, appropriate agencies and politicians from the area to respond to the plight of victims without further delay.


4,745 IDPs decline relocation from Delta communities


About 4,745 displaced persons across 73 communities in Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday declined relocation from their flood-ravaged communities over the desire to secure their properties and prematurely harvested farm produce.


This came as the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, assisted IDP Camp at Ashaka fully took off, with the camp registration hitting over 800 IDPs.


Chairman of the local government area, Mr Juan Governor, who disclosed this, noted that from reports gathered during a zoom meeting of the NELGA 2022 Flood Management Committee, the flood had started receding in the NELGA communities, along the upper part of the River Niger and Ase Creek.


He said: “Other IDPs still in all other NELGA flood-ridden communities are dwelling in clusters at the few-storey buildings in the various communities.


“So far, the number of IDPs in these flooded communities who declined relocation is reportedly estimated to be 4,745 persons across 73 major communities visited by the NELGA 2022 Flood Management Committee.


“We have some of our people at Ozoro and Oleh IDP camps but at present, we have not been able to ascertain the exact numbers of NELGA IDPs in these two camps due to the clustered registration which will require time to filter and establish the exact numbers of NELGA IDPs there.”





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