Several communities in the Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw local government areas of Bayelsa State have lamented the huge presence of water hyacinths in their waterways.
The communities, under the auspices of Ekeremor LGA and Southern Ijaw LGA Boundary Communities Association of Chairmen of Communities Development Committees, complained that the water plants had become a disturbing menace making the movement of people and goods and services along the waterways a nightmare.
Some of the impacted communities include, Azagbene, Clough Creek, Ngoloba, Egbemo-Angalabiri, Kolotoru, Tububoboama, Opukushu, Azatitor, Agbibiama, Derifamoama, Tububou, Koromotoru, Gbaraun and Ukparatubu I and II.
Their complaint was contained in a letter dated February 13, 2023, and addressed to the managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, and copied the officer in charge of the Marine Police Department of the Bayelsa State Police Command.
In a copy of the letter obtained by Punch correspondent, signed by the chairmen of their CDCs, Tuekorokumo Perebo (Azagbene); Jacob Manash (Clough Creek); Doudighe Dinana (Ngoloba); Gbeye-emi Didiwei (Egbemo-Angalabiri); Solomon Pateigha (Koromotoru); Tutor Teiwei (Gbaraun); and Joshua Robinson (Kolotoru), among others, they claimed that the water hyacinths would also pose a serious challenge to the timely arrival and departure of electoral officers and materials for the 2023 general elections.
They urged the NDDC to, as a matter of urgency, intervene and clear the water hyacinths and save the people from the hardship while easing free flow of water and movement.
The communities recalled that they had experienced the menace many years ago but were rescued by an indigenous seismic firm named Optimum Star Services Ltd.
The letter read in part, “The water hyacinths barricades had caused a lot of worries to both residents and travellers in the waterways which comprises the creeks, rivers and swamps, which are the only travelling routes in the maritime or littoral areas of ours.
“If an urgent step is not taken to solve an emergency situation of the waterways clearing, the INEC materials for the forthcoming elections will not get to the polling booths for voters to commence voting on time, which may likely derail the process , hence this plea.
“We, therefore, in the light of the foregoing, respectfully recommend the aforementioned seismic company and trained indigenous contractor, Optimum Star Services Ltd, an expert in water hyacinths and other snags clearing, for your commission to quickly contract to clear the waterways within a short while to allow the waterways free for easy movement of people, goods and services.”