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Streams of tears still flowing from Tivland flood … three drowned victims yet to be recovered

In addition, the flood also washed away several farm lands and other economic trees. More than that, the flood washed away culverts and bridges including…

In addition, the flood also washed away several farm lands and other economic trees. More than that, the flood washed away culverts and bridges including the one over  River Aya at Mbazerem axis of Mbaduku, thus rendering accessibility between Mbaduku people and their Kwande neighbors impossible for now. Most of the houses and farmers affected by this calamity are located on the banks of River Aya, Be and Dura.

The House of Assembly member for Tiev constituency, Abraham Akor Agba has called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the assistance of his constituency who were affected by the flood. The legislator who made the call after assessing the extent of damage caused by the flood expressed shock at the incident.  Agba who noted that it was the first time such  a thing would  happen in the area described it as terrible and devastating.

While other families were counting their loses to the flood in terms of material assets, the Utema family in Mba-agishi, from Nyimagbagh council ward of Mbaduku are mourning Utema who was drowned to death by the flood.  According to Mr. James Hir who is an uncle to the diseased, Shiva 45, who is a farmer had gone to his pepper farm with his 12-year-old daughter at about 10:00 am to harvest some pepper, when they were caught by the flood.

According to Mr. Hir, while on the farm, a large volume of water suddenly caught them up. They attempted to cross to return home, but they could not, they went back to higher grounds clutched onto a Banana. “My younger brother Iortyom Akume Hir who saw them raised an alarm. Before people who could swim to rescue them the deceased abandoned the Banana stand for the daughter because the flood was becoming too much and the banana stand was almost giving way because their weight was too heavy for it.”

Mr. Hir said his nephew attempted to swim to the other side but could not and was submerged and drowned. His dead body was found around 11am last Sunday. Felicia, Shiva’s daughter who was caught by the flood with his father but was later rescued corroborated Mr. Hir, saying “we were on the pepper farm when the water came. My father told me to hold onto a banana stand, he also held onto it, but as the volume of the water was increasing and the banana stand was leaning downwards. My father left the banana stand for me and attempted to hold onto another stand, but was in the process carried away by the water.”

Sympathizers gathered in groups and were reflecting over the ugly incident. His wife, Christiana was wailing uncontrollably. She said they had five kids and wondered how she alone would cope with their upkeep in the absence of the husband.

Seventy-year-old Pa Atii Igongo, told weekly Trust that he lost all his belongings to the flood.                                                                “The flood collapsed my three room Zinc house and three thatched hurts, I have became homeless at 70. How am I going to start life all over again? It is better the flood had killed me too.”

Another victim, Mr. Benjamin Asaa Chia, a retired civil servant  said most of his property were destroyed by the flood. He  thanked  God that his house did not collapse. “This is the first time we are experiencing this kind of a thing. We were taken unawares.”

Another victim, Atoo Anongo who teaches at LGEA primary school Naa also said all his belongings were destroyed. As a teacher, he regretted that his books which are his most cherished assets were destroyed by the flood.

Similarly,  in Kwande local government  area, many people’s homes were completely and submerged by water forcing its occupants to flee for their lives, in most cases without the opportunity to pick their belongings. Not less than five persons  were reported to have lost their lives in the down pour while crossing the Rive Amile at Mban crossing point in Ichol Nyiev part of Turan area in Kwande local government area. According to eye witnesses, the five had met their end while returning from a burial ceremony of their beloved one.

Weekly Trust gathered that before the rain, the five victims had wadded through the river as the water then was just before the ankle but on their return, the river had over flown its bank necessitating the use of a canoe. The violent flow made the boat to capsize the,reby throwing all the occupants into the river. The five victims Mrs. Iordeoron Ichaver, a mother of three was pregnant , Torkwase Doughdough, Anenge Igungu, Terkura Ichol and Miss Achir Ateh. As at the time of this report, only three remains of the five  deceased were recovered.

It was gathered that another bridge at River Amile Ukiriki in Mbakua Mbaiwen in Nanev, one of the many projects embarked upon by Chief Benjamin Aboho, a member of House of Representatives for kwande/Ushongo federal constituency was completely submerged by the flood along with the surrounding farm lands as well as houses located within the river side.

In neighboring Ushongo local government area, Mbagwaza, Ikov and other areas were also affected by flood while the Utange Clan and Ugber part of it was also affected as the house of Tyoapine Ikyuur and his brother Ieren as well as some houses were badly destroyed due to heavy down pour.

Meanwhile the Benue State House of Assembly has directed the state emergency management Agency to send relief materials to victims of flood disasters in Vandeikya, Kwande,Ushongo and Buruku local government areas. This directive followed the motion  moved by the member representing Tiev constituency of Vandeikya Mr. Abraham Akor Agba to that effect, saying the disaster has brought untold hardship  to his people.

In his contribution, Minority Leader, Mr. Adugu Gbileve said his constituency in Itilo community in Buruku local government area was also affected by the flood while Mr. Jato Iyiana stressed the need for members to educate their constituents on the dangers of living close to the river side as a way of checking such a calamity in future.