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NEMA raises alarm over impending flooding in Abia

Why Bayelsans will not enjoy respite from flooding any time soon

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised Abia State Government to take measures against impending flooding, which may ravage some parts of the state before the end of 2020.

Umar Abdulaziz, team leader, NEMA delegation for Imo and Abia States, gave the advice Wednesday, during an advocacy visit to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State at the Government House, Umuahia.

Recall that the Nigeria Meteorological Agency in January, declared some Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Imo and Abia, as highly probable flood risk areas in 2020.

Abdulaziz told the Governor to brace up to the challenge, by immediately putting up machinery in place to mitigate flooding in the State. He listed Umu-Nneochi LGA, as highly probable flood risk location in 2020, while Osisioma-Ngwa, Isiala-Ngwa North and Ukwa West LGA, are probable areas.

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Also included on the list are Ukwa-East, Umuahia-North, Umuahia-South and Obingwa LGAs.”We are here on a specific mission to deliver the early warning message, as directed by the director-general, NEMA, Muhammad Muhammad, for your government to take swift action against impending flooding”.

He urged the Governor to direct the State Emergency Management Agency, Local Government 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.

He added that other measures, which should be taken by the Governor 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 its Town Planning Authority, to ensure non-development of flood plains, blockage of waterways and ensure maintenance of efficient drainage system. Okezie Ikpeazu told the NEMA delegation that the government was committed in ensuring that the life of its citizens were protected.

Ikpeazu, who was represented by Chris Ezem, secretary to the State Government Chris stated that some communities in Abia State have been vulnerable to flood, but assured that the government, would brace up to the challenge.

“As government, we will continue to do our best for our citizens, but the situation here calls for external assistance, so we call on you to always come to our aid, whenever you are needed”.

The delegation also held interaction with other disaster managers, including Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Red Cross Society and the Police.