UseIn line with the Federal Government’s resolve to find permanent solution to the perennial flooding that is ravaging several states along the banks of Niger and Benue Rivers, including Anambra State, a Technical Working Committee on Prevention of Flood Disaster in Nigeria, over the weekend, visited Anambra State.
The visit was to assess the level of damage caused by the 2022 flooding that affected eight local government areas in the state including Anambra East, Anambra West, Ogbaru, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Ayamelum, Awka North and Ihiala.
The Technical Working Committee, which is part of the Presidential Committee on Prevention of Flood Disaster, headed by the Honorable Minister for Water Resources, was set up by the President to find permanent solution to the recent flood that devastated most of the states in North Central, South East and South South geo political zones.
The Committee was handed a 90-day mandate to visit states affected by the 2022 flooding to assess the extent of damages caused by the flood and make recommendations on permanent solution to avert future occurrence.
The team visited the most affected local government areas in Anambra State under the guidance of the state Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, ably represented on the spot assessment tour by his Deputy, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim.
Mr Deputy Governor, while taking around the delegation led by Engr Dilichukwu Etigbuo, a director in the Federal Ministry of Environment, noted that the state experiences flooding on annual basis, with massive flooding occurring almost every five years.
He however stated that, the 2022 experience has never been witnessed in the state’s recorded history, with its resultant damages, pleading that the state needs Federal Government intervention to rebuild washed away infrastructures.
“What we had last year was quite massive and devastating. Lives were lost and property worth billions destroyed.
“As a government, we had started with supporting the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, whilst they were still at the holding centres. And now that they are back at their homes, we have also continued to provide some things but the level of damage is such that the meagre resources of the state cannot assuage.
“That is why we are calling on the Federal Government, donor agencies and development partners to lend a hand towards assisting these people.
“We also believe the Federal Government has a role to play critically in ensuring that this perennial flooding ceases to happen,” Ibezim said.
The Deputy Governor expressed appreciation that the team was sent to Anambra, expressing the hope that their work will yield succour for the affected persons.
Dr Ibezim, led the team to Anambra East and West and Ayamelum LGA, where the delegation had on the spot assessment of the washed away houses, schools, water treatment plants and power infrastructures.
Other flood damaged infrastructures visited by the team include, markets, bridges, culverts, farm lands and road infrastructures.
The delegation which was shocked at the level of damage caused by the flood in communities such as Umuoba Anam, Miata, Umueri, Enugu-Otu Aguleri, Anaku and Omor amongst others, assured that they are noting all they have seen and will report back to the National Flood Steering Committee for immediate action.
Members of the state government team on the tour include the commissioner for Environment, Engr Felix Odumegwu, the Transition Committee Chairpersons of Anambra East, Anambra West and Ayamelum Council areas, among other top government functionaries.