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Flooding: Over 14,000 People Displaced in Anambra –SEMA

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The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on Tuesday said over 14,000 people have been displaced by flooding in the state.

The Executive Secretary of the agency, Paul Odenigbo disclosed this to Nigeria Info in a telephone conversation.

He said the agency has been providing relief materials to the displaced persons at various holding centres across the state.

According to Mr. Odenigbo, residents who are still trapped in the flooded communities are those who turned down attempts to move them to Internally Displaced Person camps.

He said the attitude is hampering the smooth rescue operations around the flooded communities.

“About 14,000 to 15,000 persons are displaced, and evacuating people from their ancestral homes to holding camps or IDP centres is not as easy as you think. 

Anambra Flood Displaced 2

“Some people will not want to move.

“We started warning as of June - July, and some people came out of the riverine area to higher grounds, but some people said they were not willing to move, that they are used to staying in water no matter how high the water is.

“So those still remaining there are a small percentage, who are saying ‘if we move, something will happen to us or our farmland,’” he disclosed.

Paul Odenigbo - Anambra SEMA

The Anambra SEMA boss, however, said the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Disaster Response Unit of the military have commenced aerial surveillance of the flooded communities in the state.

The Anambra State Commissioner for the Environment, Felix Odimegwu called on the federal government to help contain the situation.

He said the deaths and the destruction of property and means of livelihood were no longer tolerable.

“It has been a very unfortunate situation. Every year we keep having this problem of flooding and I think it is high time we have a national dialogue on this perennial flooding that keeps ravaging the coastal lines in the country.”

Felix Odimegwu - Anambra Environment Commissioner

Odimegwu further said the incessant flooding has affected no fewer than five local government areas: Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West, Ogbaru, and Ihiala.

He admitted that the state never envisaged the flood to be as heavy as it has been in 2022 but dismissed insinuations that the state did not heed the warnings of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) to prepare ahead of the disaster. 

“We yielded to the warning of NIMET, we informed the people as of then that something like this would happen, and we went ahead to prepare the IDP camps,” he said.

Anambra Flood Displaced 3

He added: “though we did not know that the flooding will get to this extent, we started visiting the prone areas before October, but as of 1st of October, those places we visited had been flooded.

“It is not like you can be perfectly prepared, but the state was prepared, and provision has been made for the people in the camps already.”

One of the residents of Iyiowa Odekpe community in Ogbaru LGA who identified himself as Chinonso revealed that the flood waters increase daily.


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