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Monday, July 22, 2024

Don’t Wait Until Flood Arrives Before You Relocate — Soludo Advises Residents of Riverine Communities


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

In response to official notifications from Cameroon authorities about the imminent opening of Lagbo Dam floodgates, the Anambra state Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, has issued a cautionary alert to individuals residing in flood-prone regions of the state.

The cautionary alert, issued through the Governor’s Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Aburime, also warned the residents of the riverine communities in the State to relocate early to the Holding Centres provided by the government, without waiting for the flood to fully arrive before vacating their communities.

While noting that the safety of Ndị Anambra is of utmost importance to the Soludo-led Administration, the Governor’s Press Secretary also revealed that the State Government had provided Internally Displaced Persons Camps in different parts of the State and was committed to the safety and well-being of the potential flood victims in the State.

The statement read: “As the annual release of excess water from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam is upon us, there is a looming threat of severe flooding that could endanger lives, homes, and livelihoods in vulnerable areas in Nigeria.

“According to the National Emergency Management Agency, the Cameroon authorities have lately issued their annual dam water release alert, and no fewer than 11 states, including Anambra, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River are likely to feel the negative impacts of the opening of the dam.

“The Lagdo Dam, located in Cameroon, annually releases excess water to manage its reservoir levels during the rainy season as we are in now.

“This discharge often leads to an increase in the water levels of the Benue River and its tributaries, which could subsequently lead to devastating floods in adjacent downstream areas, including Anambra State.

“Last year’s catastrophic incident served as a painful reminder of the destructive power of these floods, as many communities in our state experienced unprecedented destruction and losses.

“In order to avert a recurrence of last year’s disaster and in preparation for this year’s flood event, the government has taken proactive measures to mitigate the impact of potential flooding.

“To this end, a special flood committee led by the Deputy Governor, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, has set in motion as the contingency plans and risk management mechanisms.

“Residents in usually affected local government areas such as Ogbaru, Ayamelum, Anambra East and West, Onitsha North and South, Awka North, Idemili South, Ekwusigo and Ihiala, have been duly advised to relocate without further delay.

“Our elderly citizens, women and children are to be specially helped to move to the safer IDP camps, along with their properly secured assets, household items, farm produce, livestock and so on.

“Also, the sensitisation and creation of awareness are in full swing as the Transition Council chairmen in affected LGAs have been mandated to link up with all the churches, markets and other high concentration points within the flood-prone areas to dispense the right information.

“It is very imperative for those living in flood-prone areas to follow evacuation orders without delay. And should there be a need for emergency services when the flood arrives, the state’s emergency response teams are on high alert and are equipped to provide immediate assistance in case of flooding.

“As responsible and vigilant citizens, our cooperation is most crucial at this time in averting a disaster.

“Families are to be supportive of one another, while communities and neighbours should work together to offer assistance to those in need of evacuating or preparing for the flood.

“And Ndi Anambra can rest assured that the Anambra State Government under Governor Chukwuma Soludo remains committed to their safety and well-being at all times.”

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