Some Streams and Rivers in Owanland

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Owan land is bountifully blessed with the most essential of all natural resources, i.e. Water .The swamps apart, these streams and rivers are at very easy reach by the many settlers in their environment unlike what is experienced by many neighbouring farmers.
Access to water is therefore not a problem to farmers in Ora. It is virtually a matter of taking a receptacle, walking a short distance and drawing water for use. Generally, Owan has water in and out of season.
Among available sources of water in Owan are Ovbioti, Ule, Owan, Oruenren, Ubezi, Amebisun and a series of nameless seasonal streams (lvbiede). Both Onwan and Ule nvers, for the reason of their bigger size, their long stretches and the abundance of flood they provide are briefly described below because of their history to Ora people and also value to animals around. Both rivers join after gliding through their winding course, narrow and broad at different points, to empty their water into the bigger river Osse, which in turn pours Its combined volume of water into the river Niger known in Ora as Ohinmirlen. It as this native name that is Oshimili in Delta State.
Tourists take time off to swim
River Onwan/Owan
This is the largest and longest river in the area. A hand down has it that the name Onwan is the abbreviation of Onwanvbua, a name which means one who makes merry in affluence. The hand down goes on to say that this was the name of an Ora woman who got married ¡n Otuo, became quite rich due to her hald work and industry, but died childless after a period of protracted illness and painful abandonment. As the corpse decomposed, it turned into a spring spiritually cleansed and patriotically moved, beginning as Usobua stream at Iyen Otuo and finding its way through appropriate lowlands before arriving Ora its “homeland” in great volume where-after it bade farewell and flowed to join river Osse. Be that as it may, we may not fully lose sight of the probability that the river, a geographical phenomenon, could pre-date borla Ora and Otuo, which are respectively under 600 and 500 year old. The fact that other screams or rivers have no such history in their origin and that streams or rivers do not necessarily spring up- at the creation of planet-earth need not rubbish the myth about Onwanvbua.

The river flows, no without interruption, through the precincts of Ohanmi, Urole, Uokha and close-by some Emain villages before gathering great volume, to Ora, Ora rmyth has it that no Ora person who does no tempt her drowns in the river because out of compassion, its billows would throw up afloat such a “relation” for rescue or to safety.

In parts the river as broad enough of swimming purposes. Generally, the river, like the next for a brief deception has always served both as source of drinking water at its upper part, and place (the lower part) for disposing human wastes as well as dirty water from washed clothes, etc. Users along the course of the river do not know or mind that their upper portion of it as the ‘filtered’ downstream of the same river. Unhygienic, it may be described, but through the years diseases due to water contamination are not known to be endemic in Oraland. Even today, as stated earlier, people resort to it as unfailing source of water whenever pipe-borne water fails. What is more, Onwan water heals minor wounds and ailments.

River Ule: This is comparatively smaller and shorter than river Onwan. No one including the writer has taken the trouble to check on the exact Lengths of this and other rivers,presumably because the need has not arisen, or the exercise is not a priority.

Unlike river Onwan, Ule has its source from some highlands beside which are some Emain settlements. It enters Ora land near Oke old, better known to Ora people as Oke nute. It moves slowly and in great meanders towards Evbiobe where after it gets involved in the swamps which serve as a reluctant confluence with river Onwan. To check the menace of this collision a diversion was constructed many years ago to make for easy passage through it: this in turn later poured greater volumes of water across the roads between Uhonmora and sister Units  (Eme and Evbiobe). The diversion because named Oborehoro because it turned out to be a greater portion to pass through (a boomerang). The combined volume of the diversion became greater than that of either Onwan or Ule in their natural routes, it thus resulted in a wider “stream” for the purpose of bridging—a problem for traders and farmers. Today, all that has changed through development and diere is now a bridge over the stream.

Fishing in both streams is a casual activity and this is by simple hooks tied at one end of a fairly long strong twine; very large fishes are quite few and they live in deeps. The rivers carry down large quantities of silt and good soil. A lot of sharp sand is also found where the streams slow down their pace of flow. During the rainy season, the water can be muddy and dirty to behold but strangely it is safe for use. it seems naturally filtered and purified. The idea of boiling and filtering does not arise, as long as any clearly visible dirt are removed, and any poisoning through chemical pollution it nonexistent

Other streams are smaller and seasonal, and so do not constitute much problem when dry, in fact, many which cross farm - paths no longer need the one or two slabs or trunks of date - palm or other strong timber bridges (afanra) when the water is high or full. At the peak of the rainy season; they are very helpful to farmers who stop by to wash some of their farm products. Other passers-by also use them, wash their faces or bodies. even cool their thirst since the water is clean and plain. In some cases, in these streams are found edible snails. Oysters, small fishes and crabs.

Animate existence in Owan Bush
While animate existence in Ora bush is rich and varied, wild life it fast on the decrease, to the extent that there is really clear evidence of the extinction of particular ones, e.g. tigers (atalakpa), leopard (ekpen), gorillas (urlo) and manatees (ininname) talk Iess of Iions (akpakomize). The rate at which the elephants (ini) and buffaloes (emelugbo) and the crocodiles (akhiakhia) the bush-pigs (isiogo), the hyenas (era) are hunted and killed also makes their kind very close to extinction. The case of large reptiles, birds, snakes and fishes is similar. all these used to provide meat for man; later, meat from the surviving ones became great money-earners . Beef and frozen fish and chickens now give these sources very great competition as meat at all seasons and ceremonies.

The smaller animals which are often less dangerous to man, especially, the herbivores are now the victims of hunters’ guns. A visit to the main markets in and around Ora would testify to their being on their way out except that their rate of reproduction it high just as natural death rate among them it low. L.ots of Ora people still cherishes bush-meat from antelopes, monkeys. Porcupines, grass-cutters, etc. which not as many eat meat from deer, rabbits, particular types of snakes and a variety of birds.

There used to be birds of various types of plumage, and of different sizes. In like manner, hunters’ guns and traps have reduced the number of these; while many were killed for meat or for money, others have become frightened and have left to find safer places. Any ones caught and killed almost had their beautiful feathers, nice beaks as well as claws kept for fancy. Among those not liked for food are vultures, owls and cattle-egrets. Large bats have also greatly reduced in Ora.