By Felicia Imohimi
The people of Emadike community, Ogbia Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa has commended the Federal Government’s intervention in reclaiming their land from being submerged by flood.
Dr Azibapu Eruani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Azikel Group, made the commendation when he received Mallam Shehu Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary, Ecological Project Office (EPO) and his team in Yenagoa.
He said that the Federal Government reclaimed the land through EPO.
Eruani, the Contractor of Shoreline Protection and Reclamation Project in Emadike Community, described the presence of the permanent secretary for an on-the-spot assessment as a demonstration of the importance of the project and the commitment of EPO in achieving its mandate.
“The intervention has addressed two significant areas of protecting the community coastal borders and also preventing flooding.
“Emadike project is a testament of a project that is sited, executed, visited and being put to use. The community is very grateful to the Federal Government and EPO for the intervention.
“The project is the realisation of my late father’s dream who during his lifetime tried to address the flooding challenge and reclaim our land.
“My father, the then Chief of Emadike, had tried in vain to protect the community from the menace of flooding,” he said.
The Azikel group president said the project is challenging but it is worth the pains due to its relevant to the community and other neighbouring communities.
He said that when the whole of Bayelsa was submerged by flood in 2022, Emadike stood out. About 18 communities around Emadike were inundated and it served as refuge camp for residents of those communities.
Ibrahim said his visit was to carry out an inspection of shoreline protection and reclamation work in Emadike phase II, as well as the shoreline protection of Tombia and Agudama communities in Yenagoa Local Government Area.
He said that the perennial floods which had taken its toll on the community and its surroundings over the years came to an end in 2022, after the award of the contract for the project.
He said the scope of the intervention included 850 metres shoreline protection, using the sheet pile method to tackle ocean surge and a 16-hectare land reclamation using sand filling to stop the flood erosion that devastated the community.
”Through the execution of the project in Emadike, the community is now a safe heaven for shelter to neighbouring communities during the rainy seasons,” he said.
The permanent secretary expressed satisfaction over the level of the on-going remediation works at the shoreline protection and reclamation in the community, describing the facility as historic and impactful.
He noted that the project was one of the ecological intervention efforts of the Federal Government to tackle the coastal and flooding challenges in the community and to meet the yearnings of the people.
The EPO boss lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the intervention for the community.
”This is the kind of intervention Mr President likes as it impacts the community directly.
“I am also impressed with how the community organised itself in terms of having the youth and vigilante vanguards to maintain and secure the facility.
“The project was awarded in July 2020 with a completion duration of 15 months,” he said.
Also, Hon. Graham Ipigansi, a resident of the community and former House of Representatives member, said that the community survived 2022 flood with the reclamation and shoreline protection works currently at 97 per cent completion.
“I call this a pilot project in the Niger Delta because during the 2022 flood disaster, all the neighbouring communities came here to take refuge being the only community that was not submerged by water in the whole of Bayelsa,” he said.
Similarly, The Chairman, Community Development Council, Mr Johnson Jeremiah, thanked Buhari for doing a great job for the community.
According to him, this has gone a long way in saving the entire residents of the community from flood.
However, Mr Ebipamowe Wodu of Toru-Ebi Konsult, said the contractor had met all specifications of the contract, giving the assurance of 25 years life span for the project. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chinyere Bassey/Vincent Obi