Residents Call for Drastic Measures as Heavy Rains Submerge Port Harcourt

Most parts of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, including Government House and the state Secretariat Complex, were on Tuesday submerged as heavy rains pounded the city for several hours.

The rains which started very early in the day barred many residents from leaving their homes, which incidentally became flooded. One resident in GRA area said she could not go to work because she and her household had to stay back to pump out stormwater from the house.

The biggest shopping mall in the city, Spar, was heavily flooded. Overwhelmed workers were pictured helpless as they tried to bail out water from the shop. Other areas include Rumuomasi, Azikiwe Road, and Old Port Harcourt township.

People living around CFC, where a flyover project is ongoing also had their apartments flooded. The new Peter Odili layout in the Trans-Amadi Industrial layout was also affected. “Properties built off Doxa road & Okuru road have contributed to this. The natural water causeways have been blocked causing the water to flood the highway. Up to Sasun roundabout, the front of Trans Amadi Gardens Estate was flooded,” said a resident of the area.

Femi Adejuwon, a Port Harcourt resident attributed the flooding to reclamation of wetlands by government and companies in the city. “We will pay for all the sins we commit against nature. Let us continue to reclaim land from water’s space. No civilization will ever win the battle against nature. The irony is, ‘it eats us all in the end!’

Edmund Nwokaeze, said the solution lay in town planning and good governance. “The state of physical planning is what we all live to see and feel in our everyday life. The consequences of lack of it manifest in the chaos in our settlements, in this circumstance; ‘avoidable flooding. as observed in Port Harcourt today. Is there a solution? Yes. Proper town planning with well-designed stormwater drainage system. It is a collective responsibility that will come with huge cost. Government must act now and the Citizens must play their role and adhere to regulations,”Nwokaeze said.

“It is high time government stood up to demolish and clear the canals and waterways not just build on drainage without considering the volume of water. All structures on the waterways must be brought down and the ways expanded and cleared. Every community before now has streams and waterways. But they have all been blocked. These places should be revisited. The governor should go into action immediately,” said Eze Ahiakwo, a politician.

Dominion Bristol, a Christian priest whose home and church were flooded two weeks ago, kept praying as the rains pounded his roof.

No response has been received from the authorities yet.

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