The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on Wednesday distributed relief material to victims of a collapsed building in Onitsha, the commercial nerve centre of the state.
The exercise was carried out at Nkisi Aroli in Onitsha North Local Government Area of the state.
The Executive Director of the abency, Cyril Agupugo, who distributed the material, said the exercise followed Governor Willie Obiano’s directive to the agency to distribute relief materials to the victims.
“The gesture is to ensure that we give succour to victims of the recently collapsed building as a result of the erosion, which we recorded here recently.
“The materials might not totally replace all that you lost, but it is a mere relief to show that the state government and appropriate authorities are aware of the ugly situation you are in,’’ Agupugo said.
He asked the affected victims to use the material well, pending when other aids would be provided to them.
The SEMA boss advised the victims to ensure proper documentation and equitable sharing of the items, which included mattresses, blankets and insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
Douglas Nwachukwu, representing Onitsha North 1 Constituency in the state House of Assembly, commended Mr Obiano for coming to the aid of the victims.
Mr Nwachukwu announced that work would commence at the erosion site once the rain subsided to prevent a recurrence of the disaster.
He said the state Ministry of Environment, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project and other relevant parastatals involved in erosion management had started comprehensive assessment of the cause of the disaster.
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“The incident is a natural disaster, which can happen anywhere, so you should not blame God, but thank him that no life was lost.
“I will urge you not to allow children go towards the erosion site to play games or for any other activity and assist government team that will be deployed to the site soon,’’ he said.
One of the victims of the disaster, Benson Emeodi, expressed gratitude to Mr Nwachukwu for drawing the attention of the house to their plight.
He also thanked Gov. Obiano and SEMA for their timely response.