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Again Heavy Flood Hits Imo Community, Renders Residents Homeless

From Ignatius Okpara

IMO, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Umuohii village in Oboama Autonomous Community, Ezinihitte Mbaise council Area of Imo State, South- East Nigeria, has again been ravaged by flood disaster which submerged buildings and farmlands, making many residents homeless.

The flood, which occurred following a heavy downpour that lasted two days, weekend, affected no fewer than 50 households.

It rose above window level, submerged household equipment, live-stocks, economic trees, as well as pulled down perimeter fences.

Items such as Kitchen utensils, clothing and books were seen floating in the flood.

Our Correspondent  learnt  that the people of the  community located on a plain land, suffered similar disaster five years ago, even though,  the latest incident is worse.

A native of the area and a youth leader, Mr. Ufuka Adonis who spoke to newsmen, recalled how God enabled him to rescue his aged mother, wife, children and other members of his family when the flood invaded their rooms in the mid night.

Adonis who was visibly hit by the disaster said: “It happened around 1:00 am when everybody was asleep. When the water forced its way into our rooms, I could only help my mother, wife and children out of the danger. All our household effects were submerged by the flood. I thank God for life and plead with both the State and Federal Governments to come to our assistance.”

Another victim, Mrs. Maria Nwachukwu who said she has difficulty walking, however, stated that the recent flood disaster, in all ramifications, surpassed the previous flood incidents that had invaded the village.

“We have been witnessing floods in the village but this one is terrible. I have been having problem walking; I thank God, one of my children was around to carry me on his back to a safe area,” narrated Mrs. Nwachukwu, who also appealed to the government to quickly come to their aid. “We need big drainage system here to contain the huge water coming here when it rains,” she said.

Also narrating his experience, Mr. Mathias Nwachukwu disclosed that the village had recorded a case of flood five years ago, but described the latest incident as “the worst ever.”

According to him, “It is a disaster of the worst order that hit our village Umuohii and most affected is the kindred of Umuekwueme – fences collapsed like packs of card, property and livestock worth millions of naira were lost to the flood. And meteorologists have forecast that it will rain more from now to October so we do not know what to do.”

Mr. Nwachukwu who admitted that the government provided the villagers with some relief materials when they were previously affected by flood, maintained that the materials were diverted by those charged to extend it to the victims.

The angry victim said: “We are not praying for relief materials again; let the government come to our aid by finding a lasting solution to this problem. In this village, we have two burrow-pits where the water used to channel into but now the pits have been filled with sand and debris. The youths have cleared the drainages within their capability but need the help of the government to drain the pits or dig new ones.”

He said the flood destroyed property estimated over N10 Million naira in the community.

“We no longer sleep with our two eyes closed because no one knows when another flood would occur. So, we need the assistance of the state government, our representatives in the various legislative organs of government, non-governmental Organizations and good-spirited individuals to arrest the situation.”

Mr. Raymond Uhegbu, in his reaction, said that the incident had distracted economic activities in the area as the villagers now channel their energy on how to gather the remnants of their valuables scattered by the flood.

“We implore the government to provide us with effective drainage system as well as relief materials to alleviate our sufferings,” he pleaded.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary Imo State Emergency Management Agency (ISEMA), Mrs. Uche Ezeonyeasi has assured the victims of government’s commitment to provide a lasting solution to the problem.

She gave the assurance when the representatives of the Umuohii village went and reported the flood disaster to her in Owerri, the State capital.

Ezeonyeasi who regretted that flood now caused havoc in the state more than ever before, also blamed the situation on climate change and poor environmental practices.

The Imo SEMA boss, said though government had a greater role to play, those living in flood-prone areas should start to clear waterways in anticipation of more rains as predicted by meteorologists.

 

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