The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Tuesday in Umuahia, Abia state raised alarm over impending flood disaster in some communities in the state.
The agency therefore advised the people of the state to make adequate preparation to be able to content with the flood ‘when it finally comes’.
Mr Evans Ugo, the Head, NEMA Owerri Operations for Abia and Imo, made the call during a sensitisation programme at Umuafai community in Umuahia North Local Government Area.
Ugo said that Abia was one of the 28 states on flood red alert as predicted by the Nigeria Hydrological Agency Services and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
According to him, it was predicted that the flooding would be caused by heavy rainfall in the coming months.
He said that Umuafai was chosen for the sensitisation because it was discovered from its statistics that the community was always flooded.
Ugo urged the residents in the flood-prone areas to remove debris from waterways as well as desist from building houses on them.
The NEMA boss went round the community with his team, including the officials of the Abia State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to assess the impact of the flood.
He warned the residents to observe some precautionary meausures as well prepare to evacuate their places as flood disaster was imminent.
Addressing newsmen on the sideline of the sensitisation, Ugo said that Umuafai was the sixth community in the state where such sensitisation had been carried out.
Also, Mr Sunday Jackson, the Executive Secretary of SEMA urged flood-prone communities to report immediately to his agency where there was flood disaster, which would in turn invite NEMA for a joint assessement.
He said that Umuafai was one of the communities in the state that was consistently flooded due to improper channeling of drainages.
Jackson said: “We are here to senstisise the people and tell them some of the safety nets of flooding, so that even if it occurs it will be mitigated.
“We are also emphasisising seriously that these places that are heavily proned, they should evacuate from such places.”
He commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for providing the enabling environment as well as working conscientiously to ensure that flooding was mitigated in the state.
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