Chairman, Ogbaru Council Area, Awogu addresses newsmen on flood threats
By Sunny A. David
The Transition Committee Chairman, Ogbaru Local Government Area in Anambra State, Comrade Arinzechukwu Awogu, has said about 10 of the 16 communities in the local government were at high risk of flooding.
The Chairman who spoke to newsmen in Atani called for the establishment of more holding centres for would be displaced persons in view of the number of people that would be displaced when the flood becomes fully fledged.
“At the moment Okpoko, Atani, Odekpe, Ohita, Obeagwe, Akili-Ogidi, Ossomala, Ochuche-Umuodu, Amiyi and Ogwu-Aniocha are in serious danger,” the chairman stressed.
He said that no fewer than 11, 280 persons were sacked from their homes in the local government alone during the 2018 flood with no fewer 12 deaths, adding that there was need for proactive measures.
The chairman said Governor Willie Obiano last week undertook a tour of the coastal areas to assess the water level and expressed preparedness of the state government to manage the situation.
Comrade Awogu urged people of Ogbaru to heed the advice of the Governor to be at alert and move to upland when the threats become serious in the homes.
He said there was the need to set up more displaced persons camps in the council’s area as the three that were used the previous year were fully occupied within two weeks, adding that most communities would not accessible when flood comes.
According to the Council boss, “some of our communities are already cut off and the flood is fast approaching us, we want the Federal and State governments to come to our assistance and set up proactive measures to forestall doom.
“We need more holding camps, more medics because about 300 children fell ill in those camps which made the sick bays to overflow, these helps should come early enough before the flood comes.
“Some people are already caught up with flood that they need canoe to access their houses, and some communities will not be accessible during flooding, so we need do something to ensure their safety now.
“Ogbaru is a coastal local government with 16 of our communities prone to being submerged during flooding, we suffered huge loss in terms of human lives and property during last year flood.
“On our part as a council, we are visiting the communities to sensitise them of the looming danger and what to do as well as enduring that the existing camps are in place,” the chairman stated.
Awogu called for more permanent approach to checking flooding rather the usual yearly management of the menace.
He advocated for the dredging of the River Niger and construction of buffer zones to accommodate the increase in flood of the natural water bodies whenever dams were improved.
Our correspondent reports that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had promised early delivery of food and non-food relief materials to flood victims in Anambra State to mitigate the plight of people that would be affected in the event of the disaster.
Air Commodore Akugbe Iyamu, Acting Director General of the agency, made the promise during his tour of the flood-prone areas of the state last week.
Air Commodore Iyamu, who visited Atani, Ogbaru Local Government Area, said NEMA was ready for quick evacuation of people when the need arose and thanked the Air force and the Army for the helicopters and kits they provided.