OVER 500 residents of Ikot Obio Atai in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have been sacked after their homes, numbering 120 houses, were destroyed by flood.
The victims are taking refuge in Udo Usanga.
Traditional ruler of the community, who is also a victim, Obong Mkpong Okon Mkpong said the flood also destroyed houses in adjoining streets in the area, including Afaha Oku, Imo, Udo Usanga, among others.
“So many houses have been taken over by the flood while more than 500 residents, both indigenes and non-indigenes have been sacked from their houses, turning some locals into refugees in their community. The community has written to the government till date, nothing has happened. Since 1999, nothing has happened. If it was possible, the community would have addressed the problem. It is difficult for us. Governor Udom Emmanuel should come and help us. It is said that even the village head’s house is underwater and yet they say that Akwa Ibom is beautiful,” he said.
A garri seller, who simply identified herself as Mercy lamented that the flood has sacked many residents of the area and crippled their businesses as students of UNIUYO, who were the bulk of tenants in the area have left the environment.
She stated that there was no natural stream or body of water rather the new roads like Udoette, UNIUYO, Itam Market areas, among others contributed to the flooding of the area, which is the lowest point around.
Another resident who is a commercial tricycle rider in the area, Titus Ekpe Sunday, also bemoaned his plight.
“My room gets flooded anytime it rains. When it rains like two or three hours, we relocated from our rooms. If you were here yesterday when it rained, you would not come up to this point,” he said.
Member Representing Itu Constituency in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Kufre Edidem, who is also an indigene of Ikot Obio Atai, said he was chairman of Itu Local Government Council when flood menace in the area first started. But he regretted that nothing has been done to track the perennial scourge.