Floodwater has displaced Chief Mkpong Mkpong, the Village Head of Ikot Obio Atai in Itu Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, from his palace for over 10 years.And over 500 residents have been displaced just as 120 houses affected.
Chief Mkpong was forced to flee his palace at No. 85 Urua Ekpa road, and relocated to Udo Usanga Street, where he now holds court.
The village head, who said the flood problem was beyond the village residents to handle, added that it has taken over more than three kilometre radius of the village.
He said though the community has written several letters to successive state governments on the problem, it has not yielded any result.
‘’The community has written to the government but till date, nothing has happened. Since 1999 nothing has happened. If it was possible, the community would have addressed the problem, but it is difficult for us.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel should come and help us. We are all members of PDP. It is sad that even the village head’s house is under water and yet they say that Akwa Ibom is beautiful,’’ he said.
The floodwater has affected other streets in the area including Afaha Oku, Imo, Udo Usanga, among others.
It has further caused gully erosion along Akpan Etong Street which has swallowed some houses as well as recently caused the death of a man there.
Speaking on the flooded areas, Mr Kufre Edidem, member representing Itu in the State House of Assembly, and an indigene of Ikot Obio Atai, said he was the Chairman of Itu Local Government Area when the flood menance started.
Edidem stated that as council chairman, the government only referred him to the then deputy governor, who facilitated the visit of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to the village where relief materials were shared among the victims.
He added that as a lawmaker, he facilitated the visit of the Commissioner for Environment and Works to inspect the flood site, and has forwarded the people’s complaint to the state government.
He said he was hopeful that work on the flood site would be included in the state’s 2022 budget. “By God’s special grace, I am sure it will be in the budget by next year.
A garri seller, who simply identified herself as Mercy, lamented that the flood has crippled their businesses as students of the University of Uyo, who make up most of the tenants have left the area.
She said areas like Udoette, UNIUYO, and Itam market among others contribute to the flooding of the area which is the lowest point around.
The landlord of 41 Urua Ekpa Road, Mr Ekpe Asukwo, said residents cannot quantify their losses over the years because of the menace, and appealed to the state government to come to their rescue.