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Flood: Residents groan as food, fuel scarcity hits Bayelsa

Restrictions of inter-state movement of goods and services by the ravaging flood across Nigeria have led to sudden hike in prices of staple food and petroleum products in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

The affected items are sachet water which residents depend on due to absence of potable water, grains and food condiments, among others.

Nigerian Tribune’s survey at markets in Yenagoa showed that over 100 per cent increase in the prices of garri, yam, tomatoes and other food items.

At popular Swali and Tombia market, it was learnt that a four-litre plastic container measure of garri which sold for N1,000 few days before the flood in Yenagoa, now sells at N2,000.

Meanwhile, a four-litre plastic container measure of rice which sold for N2,200, now sells for N4,000, five balls of tomatoes have risen from N200 to N700 and a bulb of onion that used to sell for N20 now sells for N100.

The East-West road connecting over six states in the Niger Delta had been submerged with many passengers stranded on the highway, just as many communities in Bayelsa.

The road leading to the two universities, the African University, Torouwa and the Federal Univrsity, Otouke was cut off from the main road. Also the road leading to the state-owned university, the Niger Delta University (NDU) and the state-owned international Airport also cut off, just as the University Teaching Hospital at Okolobiri, had been shut down.

The school management said that temporary services will be rendered at the Diete Koki Memorial Hospital, Opolo for the time being until the flood recedes.

The situation, according to reports, has led to the hike in price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Yenagoa, causing transportation fare to skyrocket.

A resident, Inengite Samuel lamented that tricycles now charge N200 for a distance that used to cost N50. A litre of PMS now sells for N800. A litre of kerosene now sells for N350.

“The worse of it is that there is no help from the state and federal government to salvage the situation. The government has also refused to declare a public holiday at this period and paying transportation to work is tasking,” Samuel said.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that the state governor, Senator Douye Diri, has urged the Federal Government to declare a national emergency on the rampaging flood that had devastated lives and properties in the state and others in the country.

Senator Diri made the call at a security council’s meeting in Government House, Yenagoa.

He said the essence of the meeting was to brainstorm with heads of various security agencies to assess the situation holistically and seek ways to mitigate the impact of the natural disaster.

Diri cautioned those he described as peddling false information and protesting over a water channel project undertaken by the state government at the Okutukutu and Opolo axis of Yenagoa, to desist from the act.

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