Flood sacks thousands from Ebonyi community

A woman wades through the flood to reach her house in Amasiri, Afikpo north local government area.
A woman wades through the flood to reach her house in Amasiri, Afikpo north local government area.

Thousands of inhabitants of Amasiri community in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have been rendered homeless by a flood that followed hours of heavy rains in the area.

The flood sacked more than 2500 residents and destroyed properties worth millions of naira, including farms and livestock.

A resident of the community, Ogbonnaya Mbe, said apart from houses and churches, more that two kilometres of farmland was submerged.

Mr Mbe attributed the flooding to lack of drainage system in the community, numerous mining activities and the hilly nature of the area as flood water often runs downhill to damage properties in the area.

He said no life was lost in the disaster. He urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to come to the rescue of the victims.

“It has become a regular occurrence. We had expected that the relevant authorities would have opened up the drainage in the community for the water to have a channel.

“The area is flood prone but this is the biggest flooding we have experienced in recent times. The flood mainly affected Amaechera village in Ezeke community.

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“Unfortunately, that’s where we have our farmlands and our livestock. Each time the flood occurs, rice and cash donation would be distributed to the displaced persons without addressing the main problem of opening up the place for water to find its level”.

One of the victims, Emmanuel Okonba, said, “Over 1000 houses were submerged. People are making frantic effort to save some of their properties. We are urging the state and local governments to find a lasting solution to the problem.

The Coordinator, Amasiri Development Centre, Ngozi Ezeugo, said that the centre had taken count of all the properties, households, farmlands and livestock affected and has written to the State Emergency Management Agency SEMA for assistance.

Meanwhile, the caretaker chairman of Afikpo North Local Government Area, Amauche Otunta, has visited some of the affected villages and farmlands in Amasiri for on the spot assessment of the damage.

Mr Otunta was accompanied by the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Youth Mobilisation, Oby Enyim, the Coordinator of Afikpo North East DC, Innocent Eluu, former Vice Chairman, Priscillia Idam and public officers of the local government area.

Mrs Otunta donated cash and food items to the victims of the disaster and promised to take measures that would foreclose future occurrence.

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