By Agnes Igwe
Over 500 hectares of farmlands belonging to three communities of Ivo Local Government Area in Ebonyi State comprising Ngwongwo, Amaokwe, and Okue communities have been submerged in flood induced from abandoned constituency project of a three-time Deputy President of Nigerian Senate.
The Ebonyi agrarian native dwellers are presently counting their losses due to overflow of water and submerge of their crops from alleged abandoned constituency project of Senator Ike Ekweremadu water dam which was aimed at assisting his people of Mpu community in Aninri Local Government Area of Enugu State in irrigation and source of electricity.
During combined assessment exercise by southeast zonal officials of National Emergency Management Agency led by Mr. Fred Anosim and their Ebonyi state counterpart led by the Acting Executive Secretary, Prince Chibueze Iteshi to the area, the affected communities called for rechanneling of the abandoned dam to avoid future reoccurrence and compensations for both their destroyed crops and farmland.
The Chairman and Secretary-General of Ngwongwo community, Mr. Ochuba Emmanuel and Ikechukwu Paulinus on behalf of the aggrieved communities during their general assembly meeting to welcome NEMA/SEMA assessment team, stated that the yearly flood has made them poorer as ninety percent of the dwellers are agrarian and specialized in cultivation of rice, yam, maize, cassava, vegetables, fruits, among others.
“We want the federal government to rechannel this dam to another place. In other words, proper channeling and completion of the dam should take place because we are tired of suffering the negative effects of the project for more than six years now.
To worsen the situation, during the dry seasons when we may want to use the said dam for irrigation as planned, we are not given access; we are tired of the negative effects. We also demand compensation for damages on both our crops and farmland for all these years.
Another stakeholder from the area said, “My name is Mr. Innocent Igwe from Ngwongwo Ishiagu community. I got annoyed when the dam drove back and collected my people’s land here as you can see it about ten thousand hectares from each community of Ngwongwo, Amaoke, and Oke.”
“As a result of this, we are not farming again. Even the ones we cultivated were always spoilt by the flood. My annoyance got compounded when the same flood took my motorcycle. This prompted me to write to SEMA which brought about this very assessment tour.”
“They should come and compensate my people. Many people have been coming, but we are yet to see any positive response to our plight, am sure you heard them complaining in the town hall there. So we are not happy. They should be compensated. Having the presence of federal government here as a dam for irrigation and source of electricity is not bad but if they can rechannel it will be nice.
You can see this is the confluence of Ivo and Ige rivers; we have here since time immemorial, there has never been such experience till this dam was put in place”.
Earlier during a courtesy visit to Ivo Council Boss, Hon Ogbonnaya Chukwuude, he regretted that despite the initial assessment of the disaster site years back, the federal government was yet to do the needful, and appealed earnestly to federal government attention to stop ugly effects of the abandoned constituency project on his people.
Shortly after the assessment, the Acting Southeast zonal coordinator of NEMA and the state counterpart Mr. Fred Anosim and Prince Chibueze Iteshi pledged to forward the detailed situation reports to appropriate quarters for prompt actions
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