Thirteen communities in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State have been submerged by flood with over 300 families rendered homeless. The flood also sacked schools, churches, markets, roads and farmlands – forcing some of the residents to relocate to neighbouring communities.
The worst hit communities are Ogwuikpele and Akali Ogidi located on the fringes of the River Niger.
Other communities affected include Atani, Osamala and Umu-Uzu that are also on the coastal lines of the Niger.
The president general of Ogwuikpele community, Mr. Sunday Victor Madupuo, who spoke to Daily Trust, said there was a need to find a permanent solution to the recurring flood problem.
“We are living very close to the River Niger and it has overflown its banks, and this is just the beginning. We do not have any internally displaced camps where these people can stay.
“We need medical attention and we also need relief materials because the children and nursing mothers are now vulnerable to all kinds of diseases,” he said.
The President General of Akiri Ogidi community, Michael Chukwuse, said the flooding had brought untold hardship to many families.
“We call on both the federal and state governments to come to our help at the moment because we do not have the presence of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) cannot shoulder the responsibility alone.
“What we are facing in our communities is one that has left us helpless and hopeless to a point that hunger is dealing with our people because of the flood,” he said.
When contacted, the Executive Secretary of SEMA, Mr Paul Odinigbo, who confirmed the flood via telephone, said the agency had moved into the area to evacuate the people to higher land.
He, however, said the agency had earlier warned the people about floods as predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and even visited them on sensitisation programme.
“The flooding was not by accident, they knew there was going to be flood. We warned them and even had sensitisation visits to all the communities. It was expected.
“We asked them to evacuate before the flood comes. It is not only in Ogbaru that we have floods in the state. We have about seven other communities in the state that are affected by the flood, “he added.
Also contacted, the Anambra State Commissioner for Environment, Felix Odumegwu, said the state government had commenced inspection and understudy of the affected communities, noting that internally displaced camps would be established for the victims.
He also said that medical teams had been deployed in the affected communities to assist the victims.
“Flooding is an act of nature and it is a natural disaster but we started early to carry out awareness campaigns before the flood and we are currently interfacing with NEMA and our own SEMA to assist the flood victims,” Odumegwu added.
Also in Kogi State, flood has sacked several communities into many relocations to other towns.