A mother, her three-month old baby and three others on Saturday drowned after their canoe capsized and submerged by flood at Akenfa community in Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
The canoe was said to have thrown its occupants into the floodwater after it collided with another wooden boat.
Canoes have emerged the most sought-after means of transportation in most parts of the state including the capital city since water overran the state.
Residents are forced to scramble for canoes mostly paddled by inexperienced persons to navigate the rising water at their peril.
Our correspondent gathered that three of the victims who were of Yoruba extraction died because of their inability to swim after the incident which occurred at about 9am.
The state Coordinator, National Anti-Corruption Corp, Princess Egbe, was said to have contacted members of the State Government Committee on Flood and informed them of the incident.
Members of the committee, including the Senior Special Assistant on Civil Society, Mr. Tony Ile, visited the area.
Egbe who confirmed the development to our correspondent blamed it on the inexperienced canoe paddlers.
“Out of the desire to make money, some unprofessional persons have rolled out canoes. The flood has caused us many pains,” she said.
Meanwhile the state Chairman of the Civil Liberty Organisation, Mr. Nengi James, on Saturday visited the relief camps of flood victims to donate cash and food items worth over N1m.
James appealed to local and international donor agencies including the United Nations to come to the aid of the flood victims, lamenting that the situation had “degenerated from bad to worse.”
“We are worried about the lack of proper documentation of the relief materials donated by individuals and we are calling for a special account to be opened for people to donate to avoid diversion of funds,” he said.