… 4 local governments submerged
Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has said that four local government areas are currently being submerged by flood. The local government areas include Anambra-east, Anambra-west, Ayamelum and Ogbaru.
Executive Secretary of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency Chief Paul Odenigbo disclosed this to our correspondent at the SEMA complex Awka on Friday.
He said the local government areas were the worst hit by flood and that the entire Anambra-west local government was under water. He added that people from the area had been relocated to Anambra-east.
Odenigbo added that some of the flood victims from Anambra-west were kept at the Umueri general hospital while some were taken to Bishop Crowder primary school Onitsha for settlement.
Although he noted that flood could not be controlled, he took cognisance of the fact that the disaster could be mitigated to cushion its effects on those affected. He maintained that what SEMA did was to get all the holding centres fumigated and ready for habitation.
According to him, the state government has activated its holding centres in Ayamelum, Anambra-east and Onitsha respectively. He said government has three major IDP camps in Central School Odekpe, St. James Anglican Church Odekpe and the council secretariat Ogbaru, noting that there was a spillover as some people were already migrating to Ihiala local government area for settlement.
The Executive Secretary of SEMA also said that the state government provided mattresses, mats, blankets, food, mosquito nets and a host of other items necessary for their welfare and upkeep pointing out that the number of flood victims was increasing by the day and that as at 27th September, 2018 about 11,000 persons have been displaced by flood in the state.
He recalled that early in the year, the federal government agencies in charge of weather forecast predicted harsh weather conditions this year and that people living in the riverine areas should be sensitized on the likelihood of flooding as well as precautionary measures to be taken at the time.
Following the disclosure of flood alert, SEMA according to him, embarked on sensitizing those at the river bank; informing them especially farmers that there would be flooding this year.
Odenigbo however maintained that government provided watertight security at the holding centres to avoid undue harassment and molestation of the flood victims.
He said the Army, Navy, Police, DSS, Civil Defence and other security agencies were on ground at the IDP camps to ward off internal and external aggression.