As the rainy season sets in, anxiety is mounting among residents of Port Harcourt city and its environs over the possible increase in flooding in the city, this year.
The Tide observed that during last week Wednesday’s heavy down pour, many parts of the city were flooded.
Among the heavily flooded areas were the MTN junction along the PH Aba Express road, Artillery Junction also along Port Harcourt Aba Express road and Elekahia, and Rumukalagbor.
Also affected by the flood during the rainfall were the popular Mile I Market to Emenike and Elechi Road junctions by the Mile Three market all along the Ikwerre Road.
At the Elekahia, Rumukalagbor villages, The Tide observed that many residents were displaced.
Residential buildings and shops were flooded and for shop owners, it was a sad day as most of their wares were destroyed by the flood waters The Tide also observed that a private school located along the Hill Top Drive Elekahia was shut down and pupils evacuated that morning as a result of the incidents.
A cross section of residents who spoke to The Tide on the situation blamed the flooding on the over flow of the two major adjoining streams which cut across the two communities.
They said that the streams known in the local language as Mini Jiriji and Mini Okoro had been sources of concern to the communities as they normally overflow their banks during heavy rainfall.
They said that until the streams were dredged to ensure the free flow of waters, the situation will get worst.
A shop owner, Mr Innocent Uwuma told The Tide that his shop was flooded early that morning and most of his wares had been destroyed.
Mr Uwuama said that the government must find solution to the problem of flooding in Elekahia and Rumukalagbor stressing that the only way to do this is to dredge the two streams.
“Let the government clean the streams, so that the water can flow into the bigger Rivers”.
Another trader, Kingsley Anosike who also claimed to have lost all his wares, further opined that the solution to the flooding in the areas lies in the dredging of the streams.
Mr Anosike recalled that last year, many traders in the area also lost their wares to the flood waters.
“Last year, we experienced the same thing we are appealing to the government to dredge the streams and make them deeper.
He said that if noting was done about the situation, that axis of Port Harcourt will be cut off from the rest of the city by flood.
Last year, we managed to survive the situation but this year I don’t know what is going to happen as subsequent rains seems to get heavier. Another resident, Mrs Ogechi Clement said that she had already removed all her belonging from her house.
She said that she suffered similar thing last year and called for assistance from the public.
The Tide observed that the situation caused gridlock along the Elekahia Rumukalagbor road as vehicles found it difficult to pass through the area.
Similar situation was also observed at the MTN junction, Aba road and the Mile I Market along Ikwerre Road.
At the market, traders were seen transferring food items to the median.
An environmentalist, Mr Steve Obodoekwe, said the situation was a sign that residents of Port Harcourt city and environs will experience more flooding as this year’s rains will be very heavy.
Mr Obodoekwe told The Tide that, the solution lies on regular desilting of the drains.
He called on the Ministry of Environment and the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) to come up with modalities of ensuring that streams and rivers such as: the Interwoba creek, Mini Jiriji and Mini Okoro are regularly desilted to ensure their free flow.
He also suggested that residents who are in the habit of dumping refuse into these channels should desist from such act or face the full wrath of the law.
Also speaking on the issue, a Public Affairs analyst, Rev (Dr) Sokari Soberekon said that government must look for ways of channeling waters from the Mile I axis of Port Harcourt through Abonnema Wharf to the rivers there.
He said that the situation at Mile 1 Market portended great danger to the health of the society as most people buy most of their food stuff from Mile 1 market. All in all, it is flood everywhere and the government must find solution to it.
Expert Lists Benefits Of Solar Energy
The mass production of solar panels in response to the rising demand for alternative cleaner power solutions has made solar installation for homes and businesses more affordable, PPC Limited has said.
While commenting on the frequent collapse of the national power grid, the attendant blackouts and its disruption of business activities, Head of Power Division at PPC, Kelechi Onuigbo, said businesses should look into cost-effective alternative power solutions for uninterrupted power supply.
He said that even though solar panel installation and its storage systems have become more affordable, the efficiency of photovoltaic panels has not diminished in any way but improved with constant research and innovation.
It would be noted that
as part of the global decarbonisation and energy transition drive, the Nigerian government has demonstrated commitment by commissioning off-grid electricity projects that will ensure all Nigerians have uninterrupted electricity through investment in solar-powered mini-grids.
The Federal Government is also implementing different initiatives targeted at achieving at least 30,000MW generation by 2030 with 30 per cent from renewable energy sources.
Onuigbo said: “It’s important for energy access to keep pace with population growth in the country. This is why we are advocating for increased investment in off-grid alternative energy solutions that provide stable electricity in the event of natural disasters or power outages.
“The one-time investment and low maintenance of solar installations make it an affordable and preferable alternative power option for businesses and households,” he said.
“Constant electricity is key to the survival of businesses and that is why PPC is committed to supporting organizations in bridging the infrastructure gap in Nigeria’s power sector.”
According to him, rapid advances in technology and available financing facilities have encouraged manufacturers to invest in expanding their production capacity, which has lowered the cost of solar panels.
He said that solar panels can generate major utility savings for businesses that are considering reducing electricity costs, carbon emissions, or both.
PPC (formerly Philips Projects Centre) is a wholly Nigerian-owned multi-competency engineering and infrastructure development company. It is dedicated to ensuring equitable electricity access in Nigeria and has over the years invested in grid infrastructure as well as affordable renewable energy solutions.
The Dead Body At Onne Junction
On Friday 3rd of February 2023, on my way to Tai local Government Area for a news coverage,I was caught up in an offensive odour along the East West road close to Onne junction in Eleme local Government Area.
Despite attempts by passengers in our 18 seater bus to cover their nose , the odour kept coming.
Nudged by my journalistic instinct, I began asking questions.The inquiry made me to understand that the odour was coming from a decomposed body .
The dead body, according to investigation was that of a young man who died three weeks ago.
Nobody however could tell what killed him,or the identity of the deceased.
Meanwhile, going by the level of the offensive odour, and except the Eleme local Government Council and other relevant Authorities act fast, communities around the Onne axis of the East West road may experience an epidemic.
Some stakeholders have raised concern over the imminent outbreak of an epidemic around the trailer park junction of Onne.
An eye withness, who spoke with The Tide at the trailer park junction Onne,Eleme local Government Area, said the dead man has been lying there close to three weeks now.
She said nobody seems to care about the situation, stressing that even the Authorities seemed not to care.
“That body has been there for over three weeks now.
“They should come and remove it before it blows up”
Another respondent, who gave his name as Aikiru said it was very bad.
He said government should come to the area and remove the dead body before it gets worse.
“You can’t stay here especially in the night. Only God is helping us, ‘he said.
Sikiru further told the Tide that it was not the first time such incident happened, adding that many at times it was people from the area that bury them
“Sometimes mad people died here and nobody will remove their bodies.
Sometimes it those of us here that will organize ourselves to bury them”
One of the occupants of our vehicle,a middle aged woman from Ogoni urged Eleme local Government Council to do something about the situation.
The woman who spoke under anonymity said the situation might cause accident as vehicles might increased their speeds on getting to the spot not minding who is coming behind.
“The Authority should do something about this before it is too late.’
Another respondent who does business at the trailer park also complained of similar incident, stressing that it is not the first or second time it happened everyday.
“We are really dying here .Help us to tell the government to come and remove the man for burial”
He said a similar incident happened last year and it took along time before the man was buried.
As at the time of filling this report, the body was lying at the spot.
A number of motorists who spoke on the issue expressed concern over the incident and urged for urgent attention by the Authority concerned.
They the odour is even distracting their attentions.
The Eleme local Government Council and health Authorities in the area could not be reached for comments.
As noted by some respondents , the incident is not the first and not limited to the East West road.
The case of dead bodies on the road has become a thing of concern.
But at the moment Eleme local Government Council should do something about the decomposing body at Onne junction.
By: John Bibor
Reactions Trail Another Flood Predictions
Reactions have trailed the declaration by the federal government of another flooding this year
Across section of Nigerians, who spoke with the Tide on the issue regretted that another flooding is coming few months after communities were ravaged by the incident last year and are yet to recover.
They urged for urgent measures to save communities from another disaster.
National Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences (NMGS) Mr Proper Ogbunie, said both the federal and state governments should put in place mechanism to save communities from another flooding this year.
Ogbunie, who said this in a post to The Tide while reacting to the government predictions regretted that another flood is coming when communities ravaged by the incident last year are yet to recover.
He also regretted that government was yet to take measure to contain another flood incident, stressing that even the cry for the dredging of River Niger is not being heeded to.
Ogbunie also called on communities to begin to think of how to save their lives and property incase there is a flood this year.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria recently declared that there would be another flooding this year.
The Government also declared that 662 persons were killed across the country by flooding last year, while property worth millions got destroyed across the country.
The Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Ahmed, disclosed this in Abuja at the executive seminar for NEMA employees and senior members of staff selected from State Emergency Management Agencies and critical disaster management stakeholders.
Mustapha said the devastating 2022 flood disaster across the country was the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria, as about 662 persons were killed.
However, he assured Nigerians that early preparations had commenced to avoid some of the mistakes that were made in 2022 and state governors would be informed early this year about disaster-prone areas.
Ogbunie called on government to begin the process of rehabilitating communities ravaged by the incident last year.
He said if nothing is done , the sufferings of communities. will increased.
Also speaking, Secretary of Amango Youth Assembly, Mr Joshua Ngo, called on government to do something urgently about the flood situation in the country.
He said it would be too much for the people to bear if another flooding comes few months after the abatement of that of last year.
According to him, what ever the government can do to solve this problem should be done immediately.
By: John Bibor
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