Udaba (Edo) – Farmers in Udaba community, near Fugar in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo, have abandoned their farms in search of safer lands for fear of floods.
Farmers in the area were among the severely-hit by last year’s flood.
Speaking on the situation, the Udaba Village Head, Chief Daniel Utakpe, told journalists in Udaba that the relocation became necessary following the life threatening experience of 2012.
Utakpe said that the farmers relocated to neighbouring communities of Esan South East, Esan North East and part of highland of Ekperi kingdom in Etsako Central.
He said that the farmers moved in their large numbers, abandoning the community to a safer place, to continue their farming business.
According to Utakpe, several communities in the council area, including Udaba, have been submerged by flood after the River Niger over flew its bank in September, 2012.
“The flood destroyed thousands of hectares of farmlands, including farms in Udaba, where people major in rice, yam and cassava cultivation.
“We do not really fault their relocation which is only for farming purposes.
“All they are trying to do is to forestall the kind of experience we all had last year. They are merely trying to cut further losses by protecting their investment in farm.
“There has been another prediction of heavy rain which may lead to flood this year; we are all praying not to experience what we went through last year again”.
Utakpe said the people still awaited the promises of rehabilitation for the flood victims by the government.
He, however, thanked both the state and federal governments, and those who assisted the people during the challenging period and urged the government to act fast on its promises.
“We have had government officials come to take records of damage and people affected since last year and we have not heard from them since then.
“In fact, we still receive food and other items from the Red Cross as I speak with you.
“All we need now is for them to redeem the promise of rebuilding our destroyed houses and form of compensation for farm crops destroyed during the flood disaster,” Utakpe said.