By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
A palm wine tapper, Mr. Augustine Nwuguru who was swept away by the flood of Ebyia River recently has been saved from getting drowned through the intervention of some local divers and other sympathizers at Nkaleke Echara Ndebor Autonomous Community in Ebonyi LGA
Narrating the incident, youth public relation officer of the area, Mr. Anayo Nwangwuta told us that a day after they had experienced heavy downpour, the victim then went out for his routine activity but unfortunately, he was swept away by the flood which covered the only entrance to the village.
He said that immediately after the incident was noticed, local divers swung into action, searched for the victim and found him alive.
Mr. Anayo citing another latest case where an Okada man, Mr. Friday Igweogu was carried away by the same river with his motorcycle and through the help of other residents, he was saved and his motorcycle was recovered.
According to him, from time immemorial the river had been posing life threat to the entire residents especially as it is the only entrance route to the village
He further disclosed another similar incident which eventually caused a man’s death after the victim had escaped from the river.
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He said, “Sometimes ago, a man from our neighboring village, Ezza Ojianya, Mr. Oriji Nwegede was swept away by the flood, but during the victim’s ordeal, he got stuck on branches of a tree where he smartly gripped the objects firmly till the following morning when he climbed down after the water had subsided to some extent.”
“While people were sympathizing and thanking God for his survival, he gave up the ghost a day after.”
He pointed out that the river and its environs had subjected them to untold hardship, mostly during the rainy season and it has denied them from experiencing development in the village as no social amenities ranging from government own schools, electricity, pipe borne water, health institutions of any kind and good road could be found in the area.
Another resident, Mr. Clement Nkwuda corroborated the information and added that their situation is worrisome as both the pregnant women and sick persons could only access medical care in Abakaliki Urban, because there is neither health center nor hospital in the area and he called on the state government to attend to their plight.
The duo said the river affects them economically and otherwise and prayed Engr. David Umahi for intervention.