Fire destroys crops worth N50m in Orhua community in Edo

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By Itohan Imade

The people of Orhua community in Uhunmwode Local Government area of Edo State are now counting their losses following the devastation of their farmlands by a wild bush fire.

The agrarian community is home to business mogul, Dr Hosa Okunbo and the member representing Uhumwode in the Edo state House of assembly, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie who was expected to raise the issue at plenary yesterday.

The fire disaster which community dwellers said destroyed ‎ Oil palm, plantain and Allied plantations, also devastated subsistence arable crop farms, leaving many jobless and hopeless.

Elder Samuel Ozigbo, the oldest man in the community expressing frustration at the turn of events said though no lives and properties were lost, the farmlands destroyed is in the region of N50million.

He said, “Cassava, Yam, Pineapple, cocoa, Plantain, Oil palm plantations are all gone. We are completely helpless. As you can see, we live in a forest area…our food is gone and there is none to even sell to get money to survive”.

Elder Ozigbo said the fire came through a neighbouring village, Ozalla adding that many farmers are now in agony because they took loans to expand their farms and repayment ‎is a few months away.

Community spokesperson, Mr Francis Ebowe who ruled out sabotage in the incident said, “farming is our only source of income. We sell from the farms and also eat from it and now that all our farms are burnt, we don’t know what to do”.

He then appealed to the State and Federal governments to come to their rescue by providing such relief materials as mattresses, blankets and assorted building materials including food items and cash support to enable many breadwinners meet their obligations.

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