Following predictions from relevant agencies in Nigeria on imminent flood disaster in some states including Anambra State, people living in riverine areas of the state have been advised to be on the alert and get ready to relocate to established centres immediately they notice rise in water levels within their communities.
The Executive Secretary Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Chief Paul Odenigbo, gave the advise on Saturday, during an early warning interactive sensitization meeting for Ayamelum and Awka North Local Government Areas, held in Umumbo, Ayamelum LGA.
Addressing the people of the two local government areas, Chief Odenigbo represented by the Executive Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on State Emergency Management Agency and Media, Mr Emeka Obinwa, maintained that the message is not to cause panic among the people but to prepare them against being caught unawares as flood which is a natural phenomenon comes unexpectedly.
Chief Odenigbo who listed the established holding centres in both local governments areas said government will cater for them while the flood lasts.
Contributing the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Fire Safety and Utilities, Mr Anthony Achebe, noted that women and children are most vulnerable in such situation hence the need for them to join in the sensitization especially during their August meetings.
In a remark, the traditional ruler of Amanuke, Igwe Alphonsus Ezebuilo, commended the government for the sensitization visit but made a strong case for the dredging of River Niger to reduce the devastating effect of the flood on the people and their economy.
The President-General of Umumbo in Ayamelum Local Government Area, Mr Anthony Nnama urged the agencies in charge of Weather Forecast to do more research aimed at giving early warnings for a period of years to prevent the farmers in riverine communities from farming to stop wasting their produce as no compensation given to the farmers will be commensurate to what is wasted in plots of land they cultivated, while his Omor counterpart, urged the government to build irrigation for farmers in their communities.
In their various contributions, the President-General of Amanuke, Mr Nnamdi Maduka and a woman leader, Mrs Ogechukwu Okolo pleaded with the state government to establish a holding center in the area recalling that the town recorded deaths of two children during the last flood disaster.
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