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Gov. Diri seeks FG’s support to address ocean surge in Bayelsa communities

He assured the state government would embark on a 1.5km shore protection project to check the ocean surge that had submerged about 250 buildings in the last 10 years.

• August 9, 2023
Community submerged in ocean surge [Credit: Vanguard News]
Community submerged in ocean surge [Credit: Vanguard News]

Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa says coastal communities in the state are in danger of being submerged by the Atlantic Ocean and called on the federal government to assist in pilling the areas.

On Wednesday, Mr Diri raised the alarm when he visited the Odioama community in Brass Local Government Area to assess the devastation from ocean encroachment.

While addressing the Odioama chiefs, elders, youths, and women, the governor expressed concern over the effects of coastal erosion on the community and others on the banks of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Mr Diri was accompanied on the visit by the speaker of the state House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, Nimi Barigha-Amange, commissioners and other government officials.

He assured the state government would embark on a 1.5km shore protection project to check the ocean surge that had submerged about 250 buildings in the last 10 years.

He, however, noted that it was beyond the scope of the state to address such challenges in Odioama, Koluama, Sangana, Agge and other communities facing similar threats.

“l will see what the engineers in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure will bring to the state executive council meeting.

“We know the cost will be prohibitive and beyond the state government.

“We call on the federal government that while we use our meagre resources to start something, we want them to also collaborate with us in stopping the sea encroachment in Odioama and other communities,” he said.

Responding to the community’s requests, Mr Diri directed the commissioner for water resources to undertake water projects in the community. He directed his lands and housing counterpart to take over a pavilion building.

On the request for a 500 KVA electricity generator, he said solar street lights would be provided instead, just as he approved the construction of a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members lodge.

The governor also approved the immediate renovation of the community’s primary health centre, the clearing of 200 hectares of land and the purchase of fishing nets.

In his address, the Odioama Council of Chiefs chairman, Marlin Omiemunafa, said the people faced an existential threat occasioned by the sea encroachment as about 200 metres of the community had been eroded by the surge.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Esau Andrew, appreciated the governor, assuring him of their support for his re-election bid.

(NAN)

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