Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The National Emergency Management Agency has warned Abia government on impending flooding that would ravage parts of the state before the end of the year. The Agency has therefore advised the state government to take drastic measures against looming disaster.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Meteorological Agency had in January declared some LGAs in Imo and Abia States as highly probable flood risk areas in 2020.
Team leader of NEMA delegation for Imo and Abia state Mr Umar Abdulaziz gave the advice to Gov. Okezie Ikeazu during an advocacy visit to his office on Wednesday.
Abdulaziz told the governor to brace up to the challenge by immediately putting up machineries in place to mitigate flooding in the state.
He listed Umunneochi LGA as the highly probable flood risk location in 2020, while probable areas include Osisioma-Ngwa, Isiala-Ngwa North and Ukwa West LGA.
Others are Ukwa-East, Umuahia-North, Umuahia-South and Obingwa LGA.
He said, “We are here on a specific mission to deliver the early warning message as directed by the NEMA Director General AVM Muhammad Muhammad for your government to take swift action against impending flooding”.
He said the governor should direct the State Emergency Management Agency Local Goverment authorities and other stakeholders to brace up and be prepared for the likely disaster.
Abdulaziz also urged the governor to encourage SEMA to initiate public enlightenment campaign, targeting the vulnerable communities.
Other measures which should be taken by the governor according to Abdulaziz was preparation of high grounds for possible accommodation of internally displaced persons of vulnerable communities.
He also advised the government to stock SEMA”s warehouses to enable quick supply of food and non food items to IDP’s prior to NEMA’s intervention.
He urged the government to engage it’s Town Planning Authority to ensure non-development of flood plains, blockage of waterways and ensuring maintenance of efficient drainage system.
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu told the NEMA delegation that the state government was committed to ensuring that the life of its citizens were protected.
Ikpeazu who was represented by the secretary to the state government, Mr Chris Ezem said some communities in Abia were vulnerable to flood, but assured that the government would brace up to the challenge.
The deligation also held interaction with other disaster managers including Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC, NSCDC, Red Cross Society and Police.