A violent rainstorm has rendered hundreds of residents of Kilama, Tein, Tambiri and Egbebiri communities in Biseni clan, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, homeless.The whirlwind that accompanied the storm blew away the roofs of over 70 houses, five churches and three schools in the communities.
The rainstorm also destroyed some electric poles in the area, disrupting power supply to the communities.
The Paramount Ruler of Kilama, Chief Difference Nemiya, said the incident, which occurred on Tuesday, also destroyed many plantain farms, farm crops as well as economic trees.
Nemiya said, “This natural disaster is the worst I have witnessed in this community. There was one that happened in 2000, but it was not this bad. As we speak, we are still counting our losses and the community is in an emergency mode.
“The secretary of the community and some community leaders assigned to visit affected families have been going round and assessing the damage. The storm also affected our neighbouring settlements.
“Most of those displaced have nowhere to go and we need help from relevant government agencies to bring relief and succour to the affected persons.”
One of the victims of the storm, Mr. Godhelp Okorobia, said that the rainstorm destroyed both his father’s house and his own, sacking seven of his tenants.
“We were in a meeting when the weather changed and the storm started. My father’s house which is near our meeting venue was blown away by the wind and dropped in a different location entirely. When I got home, I saw my own house in ruins,” Okorobia said.
Another victim, Mrs May Zuku, a 75-year-old widow, said that the disaster happened two weeks after her husband’s death.
The widow said the storm destroyed their only building in the area, lamenting that it was too much for her to bear within her mourning period.
She appealed to Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa State Government and public-spirited individuals to assist the family in rehabilitating her husband’s residence destroyed by the storm.
Also a farmer, Mr Ogiama Solomon, said that his plantain farm was badly destroyed while an electric pole fell on the roof of his house.
He, however, thanked God for sparing human lives in the entire community while the storm lasted.
“In the midst of our loss, we thank God that there was no loss of life. An electricity pole fell near the shop of a petty trader. The petty trader and her baby were unhurt. It is indeed a miracle,” Solomon said.
Narrating his own ordeal, the Deputy Paramount Ruler of Kilama, Mr. Lawrence Bennett, said he lost part of his roof and adjoining buildings to the rainstorm.
He appealed for relief materials to affected members of his community.
It was learnt that a member representing the area in the State House of Assembly, Gentle Emela, had visited the area.
He was said to have pledged to draw the attention of the state government to the plight of the people.