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Anambra declares flood emergency, evacuates citizens

Anambra State Government declares flood emergency and announces far reaching measures to stem the tide of looming disaster.

Riverside communities in eight local government areas of Anambra State are to bail out immediately to avoid a flood disaster.

Government has concluded plans to temporarily house those to be evacuated from along the banks of River Niger.

State Government spokesperson, Chief C. Don Adinuba, named affected LGAs as Anambra West and East, Onitsha North and Onitsha South.

Others are Ogbaru, Ihiala, Ayamelum, and Awka North Local Government Areas, he said.

Adinuba said the situation called for desperate measures and that the State Government will not be leaving anything to chance.

A federal agency, the Nigerian Hydrological Services, had in June forewarned another flood disaster in 2020.

The Agency said that communities on the bank of the Niger and Benue Rivers will be hit by heavy rains.

Anambra is the only South East State listed among the 10 states contiguous to the two rivers.

Other States are Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Adamawa, Kogi, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Bayelsa.

Anambra has completed arrangement for holding centres to shelter people until danger is averted, Chief Adinuba said.

“These centres will be provided with clean water, mattresses, bed sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, buckets and all necessary sanitary facilities.

“(Citizens) will also be given drugs, and medical personnel will be available to attend to them promptly. Water ambulances will, in addition, be made available,” he said.

The state government has also directed affected local government authorities to get in touch with the State Emergency Management Agency for briefing on measures being put in place.

Government appealed to citizens, civil society organisations, and philanthropists to help protect and give comfort to people to be evacuated.

Nigeria has, since 2012, experienced erratic weather conditions, with devastating consequences for riverside people in the Niger River Basin.

Official reports say that 363 persons lost their lives while over 3.8 million citizens were displaced along the riverbanks.

Enugu State Emergency Management Agency toured at-risk communities in 2019 to warn of flood dangers.

The Agency asked citizens to avoid carrying out economic activities in flood-prone areas, desist from dumping refuse in drains, and cease erecting buildings along flood paths.

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