Flood has submerged no fewer than 33 communities in the Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
The development has rendered several people in the affected areas homeless.
The 33 affected communities are Abacheke community, with villages namely: Ogbedeyi, Ogboru, Okishikpa, Umudeyiezege, Umueze, Umuezukwefi, Umulakpu, Umuogrinya, Umuojioke.
Other communities include: Mmahu, Abaeze, Umuoji, Obeakpu, Obiakpu, Etekwuru, Obokofia, Mgbara, Oforola, Umudike, Ekugba, Opuoma, Okwuzi, Mgbede, Aggah, Uzuagbai, Iyomikwu, Iberu.
Others are: Eyoka, Ukpa, Edekamagha, Bridge Ogboru, Nwamjuamuyi, Tumali, Abaraukwu, Olutu, Olubumuocha, Ugutu, Otuocha, Okemgabaga, Iyonminta and Utuogo.
The people of the affected communities spoke to journalists during a tour of the communities in company of the Coordinator of the Egbema North Development Area, Obinna Ariaga, and officials of the National Emergency Management Agency and appealed to both the Federal and State governments to as a matter of urgency come to their aid.
The traditional ruler of Abacheke, Eze Ikeji Bright, who decried the development, said his people were predominantly farmers.
The traditional ruler who said his people had been rendered homeless following the disaster, called on government to come to the rescue of his community.
The monarch said, “Government should assist us. We need urgent assistance such as food items, clothing, mosquito nets and other relief materials. We need government intervention as soon as possible. Our Governor should find lasting solution to the flood disaster by ensuring that Oguta Lake and Urashi River are dredged as he disclosed recently, and also dredge the two rivers in this area.”
The Coordinator of Egbema North Development Area, Obinna Ariaga, disclosed that the communities affected by the flood were now using boats to evacuate human beings and property from their houses to dry land.
He added that the flood had led to loss of farmlands, plantations and fishing ports in the communities.
He expressed fears that soon the communities might be plunged into hunger and starvation as a result of the monumental loss, and opined out that there may be outbreak of water borne diseases as a result of the flooding.
“I am appealing to the Federal Government through NEMA, international organisations and other well-spirited individuals to come to the rescue of our communities affected by this flood,” he added.
Narrating his ordeals, one of the victims affected by the flood and a farmer from the community, James Elemma, stated that the flood has rendered his entire household homeless and as well destroyed his properties in the house. He called for assistance as he could no longer feed his family because he could no longer fish in the rivers.
Another victim who spoke to our correspondent, Adolphus Nwokocha, stated that he was a well-known farmer in the community and that the flood disaster had destroyed about one hectare of his cassava farm and tonnes of processed ‘garri’.
Also speaking to journalists, a Commissioner in the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, Goodluck Dioke, who hails from the area, bemoaned the flooding of the communities and described it as monumental disaster. While calling on NEMA to come to the rescue of the communities, he gave the assurance that the Imo State Government would come to the rescue of the communities.
He said he would give a report to the management of ISOPADEC on the disaster, adding that dredging the rivers in the communities, from Oguta Lake and Urashi River, would bring permanent solution to the perennial flooding that ravages the communities.
Speaking shortly after conducting an on-the-spot assessment of the affected areas, Nwaeze Innocent, Team Leader and Principal Search and Rescue Officer of NEMA in Imo State, disclosed that the situation was a very severe one and that their Agency would put together a compressive report of their assessment to enable the Federal Government make provisions of relief materials and other items that could help ameliorate the sufferings of the affected communities.Follow us on social media