October 3, 2023

Flood: Delta farmers embark on premature harvests, build elevated storage

Flood: Delta farmers embark on premature harvests, build elevated storage

Following the anticipated flooding with the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon into the  Rivers Niger and Benue, farmers in flood prone Delta State communites have commenced premature harvest of crops.

The farmers, who are mainly from communities in Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, Patani, Ughelli North, Ughelli South and other flood-prone local government areas in the state, are also preparing elevated platforms to store their agric produce.

Some of the residents of the agrarian communities, who are currently facing anxious moments as they brace up for the harsh realities of the impending disaster, said they do not want to be taken unawares by the flood.

‘We experienced it last year’

An indigene of Igbide community, Isoko South LGA, Mr. Alex Ovie, said: “We experienced it last year and it was very devastating. Information has gone round that another flood is coming and our people are preparing.

“They have started harvesting their crops from the farms so that when the flood comes suddenly, they won’t get destroyed. As we speak, our people are in their cassava farms across the lakes and river harvesting and preparing till when the flood will come.

“The water level is coming up gradually and we are conscious of that and our people are preparing themselves. People are already preparing elevated platforms where they can keep their property and farm produce, especially garri.”

President-General of Uwheru community, Ughelli North LGA, Mr. MacPherson Igbedi, said: “We have announced to the people that they should go to their farms and harvest their crops and look for places they can relocate to.

“With the situation we are seeing, if the flood comes agan like the one of last year, the effect will be much.”

Youth President of Ase Clan, Ndokwa East LGA, Prince Clinton Iliroma, also said the people have started panic harvest of their crops, adding that the residents had commenced construction of elavated places to keep their crops.

“As I am talking to you, crops that are not ready for harvest are being harvested prematurely because the flood is coming so fast and it is very painful,” he lamented.Former President-General of Utchi community, Ndokwa East LGA, Mr. Azuka Osaji, said: “We are harvesting our yams and cassava and we are trying to prepare them and other households so that they will be secured.”

Similarly, Mr. Tony Osborg, an indigine of Abor, Ndokwa East LGA, said: “People woke up and realised that the level they thought the water will not have got to by now, the water has already got to that point.

“So they have no option than to commence premature harvest. That is a sign that the flood might be as disastrous as the one of last year.”

Meanwhile, the Delta State Government has inaugurated a 14-man 2023 Flood Disaster Management Committee.

The committee, which has the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kingsley Emu, as its chairman and Commissioner for Special Duties, Ejiro Terry, as co- chairman, is to propose appropriate measures for the prevention and management of flooding.

It is also to address displacement of people and suggest ways for provision of relief materials to victims.


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