TWO farmers in Anambra West local government area of Anambra State have committed suicide following complete destruction of their crops as a result of sudden surge of the River Niger and its tributaries into farmlands in the area.
The two men, one from Orom Etiti and the other from Mmiata Anam in
the local government, were among hundreds of farmers in the area whose
farmlands and houses worth millions of naira have been washed away by
the flood in the past few days.
It was gathered that the farmers borrowed large sums of money from
the banks for their farming activities and the loans were due for
repayment at the end of harvesting of crops by October this year, which
was why they could not bear the incident.
Two other farmers affected by the flood, Messrs Obiora Udemze and
Akunwanne Okechukwu said the unexpected overflow of the River Niger,
which came this year earlier than the normal period of October
–November, took the farmers unawares. Crops destroyed include yams,
cassava, maize, potatoes and vegetables and Saturday Vanguard was
informed that though flood disaster is an annual feature in the area, it
had never happened at this time of the year.
The member representing the area in the Anambra State House of
Assembly, Mr. Victor Okoye has already visited the affected communities
during which he called on both the state and federal governments to come
to the aide of the people.
Okoye explained yesterday that some of the yams destroyed were the
seedlings he donated to the farmers in February this year, adding that
the flood disaster might lead to famine next year since the area is the
food basket of the state.
The lawmaker had already tabled the matter before the House of
Assembly under matters of urgent public importance during which other
lawmakers sympathized with the affected people and called for urgent
assistance from the state and federal governments.