… says water level is rising
Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The traditional ruler of Umueri community in Anambra-east local government area of Anambra state His Royal Majesty Igwe Sir Bennett Chukwuemeka, Okebo 2nd of Umueri, has lamented the level of flood devastation in his domain saying that one of his houses have been submerged by flood.
He said it was a dire situation and that apart from his house, Umueri people living along the river bank were grossly affected by the deluge such that farmlands, buildings and many others were all submerged.
Speaking to our correspondent in Awka about the level of devastation occasioned by the flood disaster, the traditional ruler stated that at the moment over 160 cassava farmlands have been taken over by flood and that over 50 hectres of rice farmlands have been destroyed too by the raging flood.
He said he has alerted the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on the increase in the water level but unfortunately he has not seen the officials of SEMA for them to intervene.
Although he acknowledged that government set up holding centres in the area where displaced persons could seek shelter in the interim, he expressed concern that the centres were functional but not active as people declined staying in the camps.
According to him, the flood victims’ camps set up in Umueri community by the state government was not enough to house the victims as only one holding centre was set up in Umueri general hospital.
He therefore made a passionate appeal to the Anambra state government to set up another Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp at Ama-Umueri where more people can be accommodated as he observed that more persons might be chased out of their homes by flood as the water level continues to rise.
Igwe Chukwuemeka however lauded Governor Willie Obiano’s quick response to the flood disaster saying that he has invited the presidency to come and assess the level of destruction of properties as a result of the deluge.
He said the state government’s intervention to cushion the adverse effects of the flood on the victims was commendable but urged the state government through SEMA to create more temporary abode for displaced persons.
Also the President-General Umueri General Assembly Chief Pius Okonkwo re-emphasized that the level of devastation in the area was unimaginable. He said rice milling factories, cassava producing centres and some others have been overflooded.
Okonkwo disclosed that the IDP camp at Anambra-east council secretariat Otuocha was a hostile environment alleging that the inmates had no food to eat and water to drink and they were equally subjected to harsh treatment.
The President-General of the Umueri general assembly also observed that Governor Obiano was responding to the situation as he had brought federal government to Umueri community and other communities affected by the flood where in the Vice President promised that the federal government would intervene.