Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) says it is currently distributing edible and non-edible materials to the victims of this year’s flood disaster in the state.
The agency said people living in the coastal areas of Ayamelum, Anambra-east, Anambra-west and Ogbaru local government areas were affected by flood and they had since been evacuated from the waters to the upland areas where they were taking refuge.
Speaking with journalists at the SEMA complex Awka during the distribution of relief materials to various settlements at the weekend, the Executive Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on SEMA, Hon. Emeka Obinwa said the agency had been proactive in its response and management of emergency situations in the state.
He said the agency responded to erosion menace to help displaced victims adjust to the situation through the provision of abodes and reliefs in the interim, pending when permanent solutions were sought to cushion the effects of misfortunes on victims.
Obinwa said the agency had sent relief materials like blankets, mattresses, pillows and a host of other non-edible items to victims of erosion menace at Nkisi area of Onitsha where he said two-storey building collapsed into a gully and the victims taking shelter in the homes of families and friends.
Although he explained that government did not provide shelter for victims of erosion menace as they were not much he stressed that government’s emergency response as it concerns camps and settlements placed more emphasis on victims of flood disasters because of the magnitude of catastrophe and largeness of people displaced by the deluge.
The governor’s aide further disclosed that the agency had held sensitisation programmes earlier in the year, notifying those along the coastal lines of the possibility of flooding this year. He added that the agency began mapping of the riverine areas when it noticed the rise of the water level from Lokoja, the Kogi state capital to the River Niger, Onitsha Anambra state.
According to him, the agency also took a boat ride to Umundeze, Enugwu-Otu, Ezi-Agulu Otu, Mkpunando, Odekpe, Osamala and Atani communites of Ogbaru and Anambra-east and west local government areas across the Omambala river to assess the level of flooding in the aforementioned communities, stressing that findings from the areas revealed that some people were already displaced by the flood.
Although he noted that truck loads of non-edible materials had been dispatched to the affected areas, he was of the opinion that food items were equally being sent to the camps and settlements where displaced persons were taking refuge, noting that there are about 28 camps across the state but stated that not all the camps hosted flood victims because the flood this year, according to him, was not as massive as that of last year.
He however listed some of the camps and their locations to include community primary school Umundeze, Pope JohnPaul primary school Ezi-Agulu Otu, Ogbaru local government headquarters Atani, Odekpe, Osamala, Mkpunando and some other locations even though he said that the displaced persons camp at Ezi-Agulu Otu in Anambra-east has been completely submerged by flood and that victims were currently settling at an upland areas where people converged.
On the sanitary conditions of the camps, he said that the governor had directed the state ministry of health to dispatch ambulance speed boats, medicaments, nurses and doctors to the camps and settlements to ensure that the victims had access to medicare to innoculate them against dieases and infections while taking refuge in the camps even as he stated that there were no casualties in the camps at the moment.