(Kingsley Okoye, NAN)
Senator Stella Oduah has advised State Governors, whose communities were prone to floods, to set aside five per cent of their annual budget revenue to mitigate the natural phenomenon.
The senator, representing Anambra North Senatorial District in the ninth Senate, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
She said there was the urgent need to address the perennial devastating floods in communities such as Ogbaru, Ayamelum East, Anambra East and West and Oyi Local Governments of the state.
“Every state that has riverine community should set aside nothing less than five per cent of their annual budgets towards addressing floods.
“I think it is important, knowing that these communities are feed mills to the economy of these states.
“So, the states should have huge responsibility towards ensuring that the recurring damages are stopped.”
According to her, the problem of flood is not peculiar to Anambra North alone; virtually all communities in the riverine zones are affected because of their topography.
“For those of us who come from rural communities, we have a peculiar issue, the annual floods.
“The annual flood is so devastating that the farmlands have been taken over, the houses, literally everything.
“In a year, we just have eight months, the rest of the months are wet; not just wet, but covered with flood.”
She also called for the establishment of ecological units and groups in the affected states.
“It is important that we stop the damages; it is important that we put lasting infrastructure in place to save lives.
“To ensure that people continue with their sources of livelihood; that agriculture produce that come from these communities continue to come, particularly when we are looking for alternative sources to oil revenue.”
The senator, who is the Vice Chairman, Senate Appropriation Commitee, appealed to the people of Anambra North to be patient with government in its determined efforts at addressing their concerns.
She also appealed to members of her constituent to at all times, adhere to the best building standards when erecting buildings in the communities and to ensure routine clearing of drainages.
“I am pleading with my people of Anambra North; my dear brothers and sisters, I know that it is difficult, but that is the life God has given to us and I know we will conquer.
“I know we will survive this; all we need is to work together, all we need is to be patient.
“Government is listening to us, government has heard our plea and will come to our rescue.
“We will also help ourselves, we will change how we do things; we will do, in our little ways, things that will minimise the flood.
“For instance, making sure that we clean our drainages, making sure that we put higher foundations when we are building our houses,” Oduah said