KOLUAMA: BAYELSA COMMUNITY SEEKS FG’S INTERVENTION IN OCEAN SURGE
— Sep 28, 2014.
The coastal Koluama community of Bayelsa has appealed to the Federal Government to urgently halt the ocean surge threatening to submerge part of the area.
Chief Ogbion Mienye, the Paramount Ruler of Koluoma 2, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Koluoma.
Mienye said that the surge from the Atlantic Ocean posed great danger to his domain and if not checked would spell a disaster to the community.
He recalled that there was an ocean encroachment on the community in June, which led to the missing of a child.
The paramount ruler also recalled that the community lost a substantial part of its land mass to ocean surge in 1953.
“In 1970 we lost two communities along this coastline and now the encroachment is progressing very fast.
“In fact, this ocean encroachment is just like terror living with us; the ancient Koluama was washed away by the ocean in 1953.
“Before we erected electricity poles in this community, we gave a distance of about 50 metres from the shoreline.
“Sadly, between 2010 and now four of the poles have been lost to the ocean encroachment,’’ he said.
According to him, the community was at the verge of extinction due to the advancement of the Atlantic.
Mienye said that the community had informed all the relevant organs of government, including
Assembly and Presidency, but had yet to get any response.
Chief Christian Munghenbofa-Kpele, the Chairman of Koluoma 1 Council of Chiefs, also expressed worries over the situation which he described as “impending disaster”.
He said: “We are in a very precarious situation; we are very much endangered.
“The most recent surge occurred on June 12, and this community may be washed away in no distant time if nothing is done.
“Tamazo and Betogbene have been eaten up by the Atlantic and we the people along the shoreline have no hope.
“We are appealing to government of Nigeria and international development agencies to come to our rescue.”
Munghenbofa-Kpele called for the reclaiming of the lost land and construction of an embankment in the area to forestall further encroachment by the Atlantic. (NAN).