Anambra Flood: Willie Obiano sets up 28 IDP centres

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The Anambra State Government disclosed that it set up 28 centres as internally displaced persons’ camps to house indigenes who might lose their residence to flood as a result of constant rainfall.

The decision is also in preparation to forestall occurrences that might arise as a result of predictions of possible flooding by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in some areas of the state.

In a statement yesterday, the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (ASEMA) said each of the eight local government areas predicted had varying number of IDP centres where displaced persons could take refuge in case of flooding.

The statement said the centres “are located in Ayamelum, Anambra East, Ogbaru, Onitsha South, Onitsha North, Awka North, Ihiala and Ekwusigo Local Government Areas.”

The statement said the centres, mainly schools, medical facilities, church premises and council headquarters “are meant to provide temporary shelters for displaced people from their homes in flood-prone areas.

“However, there have not been any case flooding, even though the rains had been heavy in the past couple of days, the state government has taken steps to ensure de-silting of drainages to stem flooding in some of the flood-prone areas and communities in the state.”

The Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency had last week said that the homes of the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, and the pioneer President of Nigeria, the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, in the Anambra East Local Government Area and Onitsha respectively, might be affected by flooding this year.

Other homes that may be affected include those of a former Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, in Orumba-North Local Government Area and a former governor, Mr. Peter Obi in Anaocha and the Aguata home of an ex-governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof Chukwuma Soludo.

The areas were among the 14 areas in the state that the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency listed to have high risk of flood disaster in 2018.

The Acting Director-General, Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Olahinka Ogunwale, stated this in Awka, Anambra State while presenting a paper on the 2018 Annual Flood Outlook at a sensitisation workshop.

He listed the council areas to be hit by the disaster as Aguata, Idemili North, Ogbaru, Anambra-East and West, Njikoka, Anaocha, Ayamelum, Dunukofia, Orumba-North and Onitsha-North and South.

Ogunwale, who was represented by the director in charge of Engineering Hydrology in the Agency, Mr. Clement Nze, called on the state government and NEMA to intensify efforts to forestall disaster.

Describing the flood disaster as inevitable, Ogunwale stressed the need for early preparation to reduce its impact, just as he called for residents’ attitudinal change towards the environment.

He said: “Some of the major factors that contribute to recurrent flood disaster in the state are overflowing of rivers, high intensity of rainfall, improper urban planning and flood plains, as well as indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the water ways.”

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