Catfish farmers in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, have lamented losses of more than N300 million worth of fishes to flood that ravaged the area over the last one month.
Over 160 ponds of catfish were reportedly emptied by the flood into the Eriwe River in Ijebu-Ode.
The farmers, under the aegis of Catfish and Allied Farmers Association of Nigeria, staged a peaceful protest on Monday in Ijebu-Ode to call the attention of the state government to what they described as “massive and heavy losses” they had suffered from the disaster.
The farmers bore placards with various inscriptions like, ‘SOS to Governor Dapo Abiodun’, ‘We need dredging of Eriwe River’, ‘Great losses through flood’, ‘Governor Abiodun, come to our aid’ and ‘Enough of our losses.’
The Chairman, Ogun State Association of Catfish and Allied Farmers, Sunday Isomo, told newsmen that out of the 1500 farmers hitherto engaging in the fish farming business, only 500 members were still in it due to the effect of flooding on their ponds.
Isomo appealed to the state government to dredge the Eriwe River and compensate affected farmers.
According to him, the association calculated the losses suffered by its affected members and discovered that they had lost more than N300m.
One of the farmers, Adesina Alebiosu, implored the state government to dredge the Eriwe River in order to put a stop to the yearly flooding of fish ponds.
Alebiosu said he lost over N8m to the incident.
He claimed to have spent about N4.2m to feed the fishes, which he had planned to sell in September for N8m before the incident occurred.
Another victim, Olajide Talabi, lamented that over 500 catfish farmers had been thrown into “huge debts and unbearable pains.”