The coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for the South-East zone, Mr. Walson Ibarakumo Brandon, has warned of possible floods in Enugu State and parts of the South-East zone.
He gave the warning while speaking with journalists early in the week at his office in Enugu. Brandon listed 14 local government areas across Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra states as the most prone to the flood disaster.
Advising residents to clear their drainages and waterways to reduce the impact or eliminate the disaster, he urged them to alert relevant agencies if the need arises.
The zonal coordinator further disclosed that NEMA has met with sister agencies including Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency to map out disaster response strategies and to carry out massive public enlightenment campaigns.
“From the recent annual flood outlook, in Enugu State we have Enugu South Enugu East and Oji River as the three local government areas that are characterized as highly probable high risk areas under the annual flood outlook released by Nigeria Meteorological Services Agency.
“In Ebonyi, we have Afikpo North, Ikwo, Ezza South, Ohaukwu and Ebonyi local government areas. In Anambra, we have Orumba North, Awka South, Anaocha, Oyi, Dunukofia and Njikoka LGAs. So, when we carry out our sensitization, we are going to focus on those highlighted areas,” he said, adding that given Enugu’s peculiar topography, infrastructure such as roads are affected with buildings at risk of collapse when it rains.
“So these are the issues we contend with. NEMA cannot do it alone. We are trying to reach out to the local governments because they are closer to the communities, to sensitize them on internally displaced persons’ camp management. When these things happen and people are displaced, local governments are the first responders,” said Brandon.
Armed with this knowledge, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi took some proactive measures with an unscheduled visit to the popular Four Corner intersection, Ozalla, on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway, one of the areas that tend to get flooded after heavy downpour.
He sensitized the residents and shop owners about the flood alert, informing them that the state government would soon commence de-silting of drains and clearing the area of sundry blockage to reduce the risk of possible flood.