Flooding: 15 Imo communities submerged, 6,000 farmers trapped

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From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja

Not less than 15 communities along the coastline area in Imo State have been submerged due to flooding in two weeks, Evans Ugoh, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Head of Imo and Abia Operations have said.

Some of the communities include Mmahu, Etekuru, Obiaakpu, abor, others Oguta one and two , Ezi Orsu, Orsu Obodo, Umuorji, Abacheke, among others.

Ugoh said though, the incident is an annual occurrence, ‘it is massive this year.’

Farmers in the affected communities are also lamenting over losses in crops as well as aquaculture products.

“We have been on assessment of the flood in the last two weeks that it started, from the reports, 15 communities have been completely submerged along the coastline, it happens every other year but it is massive this year. We are advising those in affected communities to evacuate to forestall possible casualties,” says Ugoh.

“After the assessment, we will do our report and relief materials and other forms of assistance will be sent to the victims”.

Mr. Bonadventure Nzoma, fish farmer whose farm was also affected by the flood, noted that he lost over N11 million to the flood, aside from over 3,000 fishes including Fingerlings and Crocodiles when the farm was submerged.

A lawmaker representing Ohaji-Egbema/Oguta/Oru West Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Kingsley Uju, put the number of affected farmers at 6, 000. He advocated for immediate supports for women and children affected by the flood incident, stressing that they are in dire need of medical services.

The lawmaker further appealed to the Federal and Imo State Governments as well as NEMA among support groups to come to the rescue of the affected communities covering two local government areas.

His words: “What you are seeing is a major disaster, the health centres cannot manage the crisis, from the assessment so far, 15 communities have been submerged and over 6000 person displaced from their homes. The farmers are forced to harvest their premature crops, we need urgent attention to forestall humanitarian crisis.

“I am calling on the FG and NEMA to come to the aid of my people, as you can see they have lost their homes, businesses, farms and other forms of livelihood to the flood. Some of the farmers are still trapped in the flood.”

“The flood is caused each time the River Niger and the Orashi River surge as a result of the rains and when that happens, all the communities along the coastline will be flooded. This issue of flooding has become an annual occurrence but it seems to be worse this year. Something needs to be done to find a permanent solution to the problem like the construction of shore embankment to save the communities along the shoreline.” He added in a report by The Nation.

The affected persons pleaded for urgent interventions from the lawmaker, state and federal government.

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