From Mbam Ejike, Abakaliki
Not less than thirty rice farmers from Ofutu, Onuenyi and Enyadulogu villages, all in Nduegu Okpuitumo Community, Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have cried out to Ebonyi State government and other concern agencies for help over a flood which has destroyed over ten hectares of rice farms.
The flood which came as a result of the unabated heavy rainfall from the month of July and continuing into August has caused a lot of damages to the local farmers who count on huge loss following the natural disaster.
Speaking with one of the victims, Mr Alexander Ojima narrated that rice farmers living in the hinterlands especially those from Izzi area in Abakaliki witnessed the ripple effect of the flood which was disastrous as many of them borrowed from different persons and cooperatives firms for the farm work, stressing that such development has left them hopeless and depressed.
He described their experiences as pathetic and traumatic stating that despite the damage, farmers in hinterlands are hardly encouraged whenever they faced flood disaster.
According to one of the farmers,Mr. Obiade Dennis, a native of Ofutu Nduegu Okpuitumo, said he has been completely demoralized following the ugly incident as his rice farm which was badly hit by the flood is his major means of survival over the years.
”I live by what I gain from farming. I am a known farmer in my Community. I have committed so much time and resources into farming, saying I am not affected by this development will be an understatement.
“Although, this has been a usual occurrence during farming season, this year’s own took us unaware. Many have not even taken a pin from their farm before the flood came and swept away every single rice seed in their farm.”
Mr Obiade called on the State government, Federal government and indeed other good-spirited individuas to come to their aid.
Another farmer, Mr Christopher Mkpuma, lamented that he was particularly worried because most of the rice destroyed were already cut down and waiting to be processed/sifted before the flood came and swept away everything, with the owners struggling to save them but all to no avail.