By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka— IN anticipation of the expected flood this year, the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, ANSEMA, has established 28 centres for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the six flood prone local government areas of the state.
The six local government areas are Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West, Ogbaru, Onitsha North and Onitsha South.
Executive Secretary of ANSEMA, Chief Paul Odenigbo, said in Awka, weekend, that the centres would be prepared for use by flood victims once the need arose, explaining that the agency decided to start early with the arrangement so as not to be taken unawares.
According to him, the preparations became necessary following predictions by the Nigerian Meteological Agency, NIMET, and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, that there would be flooding in eight major rivers across the country, including rivers passing through Anambra State, and advised residents of the flood prone areas to relocate.
Odenigbo observed that flooding had created serious emergencies in several communities in Anambra State in the past, leading to farmlands being washed away and people’s means of livelihood lost to the flood, in addition to creating conditions that led to the spread of diseases like cholera, typhoid fever and malaria.
He added that because flooding was a natural disaster that could be precipitated by human activities, there was need to create awareness to promote public information sharing on the preparedness for mitigating flooding at the community level.
He said: “Floods are difficult to manage when they occur and their consequences could be very destructive to both lives and property. They are therefore better prevented or prepared for in advance because they are inevitable in some communities.