No fewer than 200,000 people in Ossomala, Aboh Atani, Umunankwo, Mbutu and Ogbakuba communities in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State are on the verge of extinction as flood has overrun their homes, farmlands and markets.
The communities along Atani-Ozubulu express road, located barely 10 kilometres from the bank of River Niger, near Onitsha, have been submerged in flood since August.
The flood, which crept in from River Niger, is as high as window level of buildings, to the extent that villagers now use canoes to move about to earlier dry land.
Daily Sun gathered that villagers, who have been displaced from their homes, have moved upland to communities where they sleep in the open and at the mercy of the elements.
Ever since their plights started, it was learn, that neither the Anambra or federal government have cared to move the displaced persons into Internally Displaced Camps (IDPs).
Drawing the attention of government to the flood menace, Mr. Festus Mbisiogu, chairman of Blue Diamond Logistics, China, described the situation in the villages as pathetic.
He said providence took him to the communities as he was returning from Anambra to Imo State last weekend and his driver mistakingly lost track of their route to Owerri only to see themselves in Ossomala community.
“On getting to Owerri, after accidentally discovering the communities, my conscience continued to prick me on the level of suffering the people are being subjected to, especially the children and women. As if God wants me to do something, I received a heart touching video of the area in one of the WhatsApp group I belong. Again I was psychologically restless, prompting me to abandoned all my activities and to arrange for journalists to go with me for on-the-spot analysis,” he said.
Mbisiogu appealed to the state and federal governments to step in and provide succour to the affected communities to avert an imminent epidemics.
“There’s urgent need to relocate and rehabilitate these people. Honestly, it will be a national mockery if any foreign media accesses any of these communities and exposes what they have been subjected to for years in a country parading itself as the giant of Africa. These people are on daily basis living in pains; you can notice their excitement seeing us and believing that truly a Daniel has come to judgement. They thought, we are from one of the Federal Government agencies handling ecological issues. I can’t believed that this kind of thing is happening in Nigeria for this long and nothing is being done,” he said.
Narrating the plights of the communities, Chief Onyekwere Nwadialo and Mrs. Nkiru Nwafili said they had suffered untold hardship over the years due to flood and expressed the disappointment that the government was doing nothing to ameliorate their sufferings.
It was learnt that the flooding was caused by the dredging of River Niger, which started about 2012, without proper arrangement to channel the water to avoid submerging neighbouring communities.