Fourteen communities in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State are at risk of an epidemic as a result of their continuous exposure to contaminated water and poor hygiene.
A resident of Ngo, one of the communities, Alice Nte, said the 14 communities were exposed to diarrhoea as a result of contaminated water.
The fear of an epidemic was further confirmed early this week with reports that about 10 people in Ngo Community died as a result of an outbreak of cholera.
The Youth Leader of Ngo and Chairman of Ngo Owerekoto Community Youth Leaders Forum, Anthony Ngere, allegedly told reporters that about 10 persons died as a result of the outbreak of cholera.
Ngere said, “The cholera outbreak is in Andoni. So far, we have recorded 10 deaths: adults and children. My message is for the state government to come to the aid of my people. We want them to provide us with potable water. And they should come and sanitise the area. We don’t have a source of potable water. The water we drink is from wells.”
However, on Sunday findings reveal that no death was recorded in any part of the community, but the residents of the community are exposed to diarrhoea as a result of their exposure to contaminated water as most of the residents drink from the river where they also defecate.
Another resident of Ngo, Gogo Owaji, told our reporter that the common disease suffered by the residents was diarrhoea.
Owaji said almost all the 14 communities in Andoni were exposed to epidemics as a result of contaminated water.
“Diarrhoea is a common disease suffered by people of Andoni because of lack of potable water and poor hygiene. We don’t have industrial tap borne water. We rely on stream water and creeks. During the rainy season, residents rely on rain water.”
On the deaths of the 10 persons in the community as a result of an alleged outbreak of cholera, Owaji said he was not aware.
“I am not aware of any reported case of death as a result of cholera outbreak. You can go into the villages and find out. I can tell you to the best of my knowledge that nobody died as a result of cholera outbreak.”
The medical doctor in charge of Ngo General Hospital was not on seat when our reporter visited the hospital, but a source at the hospital who pleaded anonymity told our reporter that the hospital had regular cases of diarrhoea.
He said the patients were given oral drugs and in more serious cases admitted.
The Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health, Mrs Caroline Wali, said there was no cholera outbreak in Andoni.
Mrs. Wali who spoke with our reporter said what the ministry observed in the area was the existence of “acute watering diarrhoea,” and stressed that no medical report had shown the existence of cholera in the area.
She confirmed that the whole of Andoni Local Government Area had poor state of potable water as a result of the area’s terrain, but added that the people engaged in open defecation in the river which from which they drank and used for cooking.