Over 20 riverine communities in the Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw local government areas of Bayelsa have cried out over the blockage of the waterways by water hyacinth.
The communities lamented that the water hyacinth had made travelling along the waterways a nightmare.
The communities, who also expressed fears that electoral materials might not arrive on time on election day due to difficulty navigating the waterways, appealed to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to intervene.
The affected communities include the headquarters of Ward 11 in Ekeremor LGA, Egbemo-Angalabiri, Koromotoru, Azagbene, Agbibiama, Ngoloba, Tutuama, Derifamoama, Uguwa, Kolotoru, Club Creek, Tunu, and Opukushi, all in Ekeremor LGA.
In Southern Ijaw LGA, the affected communities include Azagbene, Ukpapupu 1 and 2, Gbaruan, Afitubu, and Euobou.
Addressing reporters in Yenagoa on Monday, the paramount ruler of the Koromotoru community, Mike Alfred, called for intervention from the government and NDDC.
“Even when there is no water hyacinth, each time there is an election and materials are distributed by INEC, they arrive around 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m.
“The communities have no funds to clear the waterways. The only agency that can help us is the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) because it is their responsibility to clear waterways.
“So if they don’t do it, we may likely not participate in the elections at the stipulated time, and INEC cannot do otherwise,” Mr Alfred said.
He pleaded with the NDDC to intervene to save the situation and the people from being disenfranchised.
Source: Peoples Gazette
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