By NewsCritic Reporters
The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has warned communities in Abia State against blocking the waters channels to avert the imminent flood disaster predicted by the National Meteorological Agency, NIMET, in its 2020 flood forecast. This is just as the Abia State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, has called on the public to immediately report any flooding experience in their locality.
According to Mr Evans Ugo, head of Operations NEMA Owerri office, residents should stop engaging in acts that promote flooding in their areas, adding that all hands must be on deck to stop flooding before it will finish all of us.
The NEMA head of Operations spoke during the Road Walk Show organised by NEMA in collaboration with Abia State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, to sensitize the Abia public on the imminent flooding disaster in some local government areas as predicted by NIMET and NIHSA.
It was forecasted that Abia is among the 28 states that will experience high rainfall between the months of September and October. Some of the high risk LGAs include Umunneochi, Osisioma, Isiala-Ngwa North, Ukwa West, Ukwa East, Umuahia North, Umuahia South and Obingwa.
After visiting some communities in Umuahia for sensitization particularly Umuafai-Ibeku, the NEMA head of operations said it would forward the report on its findings to the management of the agency, and on how it could help the flood prone communities. He said there is need to construct proper drainages to reduce the volume of flooding at Umuafai community which has been experiencing heavy flooding over the years.
Mr Evans Ugo stressed that the Abia public must be sensitized on the dangers of blocking water channels and drainages with debris, adding that the youths of the communities must be mobilised to remove the debris from the water channels. He also cautioned residents not to build houses on water ways as this will lead to flooding in the area.
The Executive Secretary of Abia SEMA, Sunday Jackson, advised the public to immediately report any flooding experience in their area to SEMA, so as to invite NEMA for joint assessment. He pointed out that past experience has shown that NEMA will always respond positively.
Said Jackson, “they always come to our aid and we are grateful to the management of NEMA, we also commend Abia State Government for providing the enabling environment for us to operate”.
He disclosed that over 16 communities are prone to heavy flooding as predicted…, saying that this is the more reason they have been going on sensitization, so that people can be aware to observe the safety nets that can help curtail the impact of the disaster when it occurs. He said the agency is more interested about safety of lives.