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15 Anambra Communities in Panic Harvesting Ahead of Flooding Season



Farmers in over fifteen riverine communities in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra state have started harvesting their crops ahead of impending flooding in the area.

The farmers who had obtained loans from banks to invest in their agricultural ventures recalled the huge losses incurred during last year’s flooding, saying they could not afford to incur further losses.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, President-General of Akili-Ogidi community, Micheal Chukwuse said the 15 communities along the River Niger banks were gradually being overun by flood with attendant consequences on farm lands in the area.

He said, “The flood is already in the fifteen communities along the River Niger banks and this is affecting the crops planted in our farm lands.

“If the farmers don’t evacuate their produce now, it will be too late for them when we get to the months of September and October.

“By that time people would be relocating to the up land and the farm produce would have been washed away by the flood and you cannot have access to the farms.”

Deputy House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Environment, Chief Chinedu Obidigwe assured that arrangements had been concluded for provision of relief materials and palliatives for possible victims of flood disaster.

He said National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been briefed on early establishment of Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps, while medical personnel were being posted to those areas to take care of the medical needs of the flood victims.

“As I speak with you, the affected communities will receive relief materials as well as crops for cultivation for next year and we are looking at issuing soft loans and grants through the Bank of Agriculture to cushion the effects of the flood”, he said.

On his part, Commissioner for Environment Chief Felix Odumegwu said government has commenced opening of drainages and demolition of structures built on flood channels, including sensitization programmes in those communities for early relocation to safer grounds.

“State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is already interfacing with its national counterpart, NEMA, for more prompt and proactive actions towards reducing flood destruction.

“We advise natives of the river line communities to heed to the directives of the meteorologist on flood  disaster,” he added.

Principal Administration Officer, NEMA, Enugu, Mr. Kennedy Ekeh, had during sensitization visit to Ayamelum, Anambra East and West Council Areas, advised residents to prepare themselves on security, economic and health implications of the foreseen flood outbreak.

Ekeh, accompanied by Executive Secretary, SEMA, Chief Paul Odenigbo, represented by a Director in the agency, Mr. Chukwudi Onyejekwe also asked them to be at alert and comply with government’s directives on how to minimize the effects of the flood.

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