The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised the Imo state government to demolish all houses along the waterways to check ravaging effects of flooding in the state.
Mr Evans Ugoh, the Coordinator of NEMA Owerri Operations Office, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Owerri.
He said that the state government should summon “uncommon willpower to demolish houses built on waterways and ensure close monitoring of contractors’’ in the state.
Newsmen report that a heavy downpour last Thursday caused serious flooding in Imo which submerged many houses in Federal Housing Estate, Egbu, Owerri North, and World Bank area of Owerri West.
NEMA officials, who visited the scene the following day, issued a statement which claimed that no fewer than 3,200 people were affected by the disaster.
The agency also disclosed that over N50 million worth of properties were destroyed as a result of the flooding.
Reports later emerged in the social media and newspapers that NEMA had blamed the disaster on the state governor.
Ugoh said he frowned at the report and told newsmen that Gov. Rocha Okorocha was never the problem, but contractors working in various sites who tampered with the drainages without fixing them before the downpour.
He said that some contractors and not Okorocha were the cause of the disaster for tampering with the existing drainages without fixing them before the heavy rain struck.
“How can the governor be the cause of the disaster when he is working day and night to ensure that people of the state are happy.
“NEMA was misrepresented as the governor meant well in his urban renewal programme,’’ he said.
Ugoh said NEMA was making arrangements to send relief materials to flood victims in the state.