Flooding: Imo commences awareness, sensitisation of residents
• Experts task govt on sustained efforts
Following the devastating effect of flood on Imo State residents last year, the state government has commenced massive awareness and sensitisation programmes in 637 autonomous communities of 27 local councils of the state.
In the incident, over 33 communities were submerged in Ohaji-Egbema Local Council, which rendered many indigenes homeless and damaged property worth billions of naira.
The 33 affected communities include: Abacheke, Ogbedeyi, Ogboru, Okishikpa, Umudeyiezege, Umueze, Umuezukwefi, Umulakpu, Umuogrinya and Umuojioke.
Other communities are: Mmahu, Abaeze, Umuoji, Obeakpu, Obiakpu, Etekwuru, Obokofia, Mgbara, Oforola, Umudike, Ekugba, Opuoma, Okwuzi, Mgbede, Aggah, Uzuagbai, Iyomikwu and Iberu.
Others are: Eyoka, Ukpa, Edekamagha, Bridge Ogboru, Nwamjuamuyi, Tumali, Abaraukwu, Olutu, Olubumuocha, Ugutu, Otuocha, Okemgabaga, Iyonminta and Utuogo.
Also, some communities in Oguta Local Council experienced flooding. Fielding questions from The Guardian, the State Secretary of Imo State Emergency Agency (SEMA), Mrs. Agnes Ajoku, said though the state government could not quantify monetarily the actual losses incurred by the victims.
Ajoku disclosed that the agency, in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has mounted a sensitisation and awareness programme in Ohaji/ Egbema and other flood prone areas in the state.
MEANWHILE, community leaders in Imo State have been urged to complement government’s efforts to curb the menace of flooding in the state. According to an environment expert, Dr. Uche Madu, residents in the affected area should ensure that all waterways in their respective communities are freed to ensure easy flow during rains.
He stressed that measures like desilting the gutters, water reservoirs, streams among others through community-help could help to arrest the challenges caused by flooding.
Also, NEMA has cautioned against building on the waterways and other activities, which enhance chances of flooding.