50 communities likely to be submerged
Okey Maduforo, Awka
Less than twenty four hours after the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA alerted the nation over an impending flood disaster in 19 states of the federation including Anambra, there has been growing panic among the seven local government areas in the state that have always faced the menace yearly ~ Citypost Reports.
NEMA had in a release listed the 19 states warning that adequate preparations should be made in good time to avert the level of devastation that occured during the last year’s flood disaster across the country.
It also advised communities residing at the coastal regions to begin early to evacuate themselves from those areas before the flood comes.
Recall that last year over 50 Communities were swept away by flood, destroying buildings and farm lands as well as causing an outbreak of cholera pandemic in those communities in Anambra state.
It is also being feared that over 250 fish farms would be affected by the coming flood across the coastal regions of the state which according to the farmers would be a monumental lose to the farmers and to the state.
But the Commissioner for Environment Engr Felix Odimegwu had explained that the state government have been holding sensitization programs and awareness campaigns informing natives in the area about the impending flood adding that even the local government area Transition Committee Chairmen have been directed to hold Town Hall meetings to educate the Communities about what to do ahead of the flooding.
Also Onitsha South local government area Transition Committee Chairmen Chief Emeka Joseph Orji told reporters that due to the proactive measures taken by his administration in the last one year to remove illegal structures and clearing of canals and drains that were blocked which causes the problems of flooding expressing confidence that this year’s flooding would not affect the Council area.
Laying credence to the panic farmers in the seven local government areas have commenced the harvesting of their crops even though most crops are not due for harvesting.
Mr Clement Chukwudi Igwilo a fish and pig farmer at Omor in Ayamelum local government area confirmed that the flood has started coming adding that he has evacuated his farm to another location.
“It has come to Ifite Ogwari, Omor , Umuerum Aguleri in Anambra East heading to Oba Ofemili in Awka North local government area and places that were dry lands have been taken over by the coming flood “
“We have over 350 large fish farms in the water ways and once the flood comes it would sweep away everything and we are left with nothing”
“It is sad that we are harvesting so early but we have no choice but to save the much we can and those that are worse affected are the farmers that planted yams and cassava because they are harvesting too early”
Madam Monica Nwoye a farmer at Inoma in Anambra West local government area said that it is not enough for NEMA to raise alarm but to come on time to assist the farmers.
“The government people every year would shout and tell us that flood is coming but it ends there but they have nothing again to do for us to save our farms and after the flood government would forget us and wait for another year”
Prince Chris Okwuosa a fish farmer from Umuzu community in Ogbaru local government area lamented that the Bank of Industries and Agricultural bank have not helped matters expressing fears that there would be food crisis next year due to the impending flood.
“What is the Bank of Industries and Agricultural bank doing to assist us over the flood? Nothing! Everything is just paper works and no action.
“I lost my fish farm net during the last flood and I found it around Bayelsa state and I know how much that I lost to the flood and both the state and federal governments did nothing to help us so we have started evacuation and it is costing us a lot ” he said.