FLOOD SUBMERGES ANAMBRA WEST LGA, PREGNANT WOMAN DIES

Reporter:UCHE NDEKE

Houses and farmlands in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State have been submerged by flood.

This followed series of rainfall that caused the rivers in the area to overflow their banks leading to flooding of the entire communities that make up the area.

The communities affected included Inoma, Odumogwo, Alla, Umueze-Anam, Nzam, Umuenwelum-Anam, Igbokenyi, Oromaetiti, Mmiata and Ifite Anam.

Radio Nigeria gathered that healthcare delivery and education have been threatened as a pregnant woman was reported dead during delivery due to lack of medical attention.

After the predictions by relevant weather forecast agencies in the country, the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) swung into action by sensitizing the riverine communities to the impending flood.

The flood prone local government areas were also alerted of the need to relocate to higher grounds and holding camps being put in place by the government.

However, during the sensitisation, most of the people told Radio Nigeria that they were fed up with government coming every year to tell them same old story without coming up with any tangible solution other than bringing cups of rice, beans, garri and other food stuff.

Flood disaster being a natural occurrence, did not mind the lapses as all the communities become submerged while the people were reluctant to relocate early enough.

One of the victims, Mr. Alex Okafor, narrated their ordeal as they struggle to save the remaining property in their homes.

“Flood covered everywhere, our homes and markets, schools, hospitals.

“We need government assistance. The holding camps can’t take all of us that’s why some are in their homes,” Mr. Okafor pleaded.

Another victim whose house and farmlands had been submerged since September, Mrs. Mary Olota, decried the hardship saying it was difficult for them to eat and find drinking water.

“I ran away with my family to a relative in upper land because there is no food in the holding camps, please we need money and food, all our farm produce have been damaged by flood.

“The entire areas were flooded, houses buried, markets and schools covered, main roads became swimming pools for children who did not even bother about infectious diseases as places of worship are all covered forcing few persons to relocate to higher grounds,” Mrs. Olota cried out.

An aged woman, Mrs. Anigboma Chukwuma, told Radio Nigeria that a pregnant mother, who could not get medical attention due to the flood, died during delivery in the area and appealed for urgent government assistance.

“We were rushing her to up land where she would get medical attention but unfotunately she died on the road while trying to deliver. Our situation here is very painful and pathetic,” the old woman moaned.

Another resident, Mr. Nnamdi Esimai, lamented that hunger was imminent as their unharvested crops and produce were all submerged.

“Schools are affected and our children are really affected, from COVID-19 to flood water. Let
Federal Government come and properly dredge River Niger, creating enough dept that can contain the water, thus avoiding flooding,” Mr. Esimai appealed.

While some victims heeded to government advice and moved to the higher grounds, some others call for the designated holding camps to be made habitable to avoid outbreak of diseases and increase in cases of COVID-19, which is still recorded in the state.

But what is government of Anambra State doing while waiting for national assistance, Mr. Chukwudi Onyejekwe, spoke on behalf of the Executive Secretary of SEMA, Chief Paul Odenigbo.

“Those people you saw in camp did not were not here their on their own, it was SEMA that brought them out. The holding camps cannot be as comfortable as their homes but we try to provide for them based on the available resources on ground.

“All the areas are under water, property destroyed. Its really a big disaster as so many families were affected,” Mr. Onyejekwe noted.

Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) South East Zone, had visited the area to carryout on the spot assessment of the level of damage done by the flood as narrated by Mr. Kenedy Eke, who stood in for the NEMA Zonal Coordinator.

“We have seen the level of destruction done by the flood, honestly it is devastating. We will report back to the Head office and wait for their reaction,” Mr. Eke stated.

As the rains continue to wreak havoc, communities in Anambra West Local Government Area call for urgent and concrete assistance from the government not only to enable them eat but to also go back to their homes with the hope of going back to farming in the next season.

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