…..As recent flood destroys N20 million worth investment in Aquatem fish farm, sends many out of their homes
By Wole Balogun
The Aseyori community may be far situated on the outskirts of Ado-Ekiti in Ureje area of Ekiti State capital city but it possesses rare natural resources that are capable of bringing fortunes to the state if well harnessed. The community has rich soil for growing vegetables, yams and cocoa among many other arable crops.
Most importantly, the community’s fairly riverine nature makes it a safe haven for fish farming. According to Dr. Ebenezer Temitope Adebayo, who is an authority in Hydrobiology and Fisheries with specialization in
the study of Water, Fishes and Eco-Toxicology, the river channel in Aseyori community has some special species of fish that are of a great commercial value for fish farmers and consumers alike.
This rich aquatic biodiversity potentials prompted Dr. Adebayo to cite his fish farm (Aquatem Fisheries Research Farm) on the soil of Aseyori community. His farm has witnessed a rapid expansion as it currently has ten employees, both skilled and non-skilled, all of whom are rescued from the tight and competive
Nigerian labour market.
The fish farm took up special initiative of local capacity building with the use of social media and the online platforms are used to share technical knowledge and discuss other matters that are of benefit to prospective and investors in fish farming. This singular move has librated many fish farmers to commercial profitability.
Unfortunately, the fish farm and some households in Aseyori community are always affected by heavy flood from Ureje Reservoir and River which is located about few kilometers upstream of Aseyori community. The poor dredging of Ureje River and the poor channelisation of water are suspected to be the main causes of the incessant flood.
Ureje River is a first major river in the state follows by Elemi River, particularly in Ado-Ekiti where all other drainage systems in the state capital flow into. The dam in Ureje is not deep enough to contain all the water that usually flood into it during heavy downpour such as the one of the night of September 11, 2022.
The heavy downpour caused Ureje Dam to overflow its banks which flooded Aseyori and surrounding communities. The flood destroyed many properties and displaced many residents of the affected area.
Dr. Adebayo Temitope lost about N20 million naira of his investment in fish farming business to the flood that ravaged the community on September 11, 2022.
This is a wake-up call for the government of Ekiti state through the administration of Dr. Kayode Fayemi to act promptly in order to safeguard lives and properties, ensuring food security, encourage investors as well as securing the biodiversities within and around the river channel.
Earlier forecast by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency ( NiMet) marked Ekiti State as one among the others to be heavily flooded this year.
Dr. Adebayo had on three occasions made personal sacrifice of dredging a part of Ureje River by hiring heavy duty equipment from public works Department of the state.
In the words of Dr. Adebayo Temitope, ‘we are appealing to our amiable Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to intervene for over ten thousand inhabitants of Aseyori and it’s environs in their plight, as we do not pray to experience the 1980 Ogunpa flood disaster of Ibadan or the recent flood in Pakistan’