The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has cautioned against building on waterways.
This is to avoid frequent flood disasters occasioned by indiscriminate construction of buildings on water channels.
The Zonal Coordinator, NEMA South East Zone, Enugu, Mr. Fred Anusim, Made the call while addressing stakeholders from riverine communities in Anambra East and West Local Government Areas of Anambra State.
Anambra East and West are part of the gocal government areas in Anambra State that are flood prone due to their proximity to River Niger, Omambala River and other rivers in the area.
This, the NEMA Zonal Coordinator, Mr Fred Anusim, made it imperative for the agency to collaborate with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), in order to sensitize residents to the need to avoid any activity that would contribute to flood disaster.
Mr. Anusim identified lack of adherence to building codes as one of the factors responsible for flood incidents across the country.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of SEMA in Anambra State, Chief Paul Odenigbo, called on the people who were predominantly famers to get ready to relocate to higher grounds once the rivers began to overflow their banks.
Represented by the Executive Assistant to the Governor on SEMA, Media, Mr. Emeka Obinwa, Chief Odenigbo said government had designated holding camps in various locations within the areas with a promise that they would be adequately taken care of in the event of flood disaster.
One of the residents, Mrs. Esther Emelife, from Anambra East Local Government Area, called on government agencies responsible for physical planning to be up to their responsibilities by ensuring that developers did not erect structures on waterways.
The Chairman of Anambra West Local Government Area, Chief Orji Okafor, and the President General Ukwala community, Mr. Domnic Nnazor, While commending government for the early warning sensitization, appealed for the dredging of the River Niger and speedy completion of the holding camp being built by the federal government at Nzam.
Two farmers, Mr. Samuel Ozoekwe and Mr. Titus Okoye, called on the Anambra State Government to come up with a master plan to deal with flood victims in Anambra West.
Other respondents appealed to government to provide the people of the area with boats that would assist them to evacuate some of their belongings when the floods begin.
The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) alongside NEMA embarked on the tour to sensitize the people to the need to keep abreast of the impending flood as predicted by weather forecast agencies.