As NEMA identifiies threat in 7 Imo communities
By Vincent Ujumadu & Chinonso Alozie
AWKA—THE flood ravaging many parts of the country has submerged the Atani Campus of the Federal Polytechnic in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state.
Anambra State is among four states recently declared flood disaster areas by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA. Access roads to the campus, fields, offices and classrooms were all flooded, with the students having challenges in accessing their classrooms.
The institution’s perimeter fencing, electric transformer and electric generating sets that supply light to the area were also submerged, resulting in total blackout.
Villagers were seen using canoes to pass through the school compound to the neighbouring communities.
Household appliances and personal belongings of the students, including text books were destroyed by the flood.
The development yesterday forced the management of the polytechnic to direct all students of the Atani campus to vacate immediately.
Public Relations Officer of the polytechnic, Mr. Obini Onuchukwu said in a statement yesterday that the students were asked to stay away from the campus for one week to see if the flood could recede, adding that the directive was in the best interest of the students to avoid any form of casualty.
Onuchukwu said: “We experience this almost on yearly basis but the magnitude of this year’s flood is overwhelming. “Apart from the campus, hostels belonging to individuals where our students stay are also submerged, making it impossible for any reasonable academic activity to take place.”
NEMA identifiies threat in 7 Imo communities
In a related development, NEMA, yesterday identified seven communities in Imo State that could be affected by flood at any moment.
The communities listed included: , Ossemotto, Oguta, Eziorsu and Orsuobodo, Opuowa, Mmahu and Etekwuru.
The head of Imo/Abia operations office of NEMA, Mr Evans Ugoh disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri when he and other NEMA officials visited the areas in Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Local Government Areas in the state.
Ugoh said the Oguta Lake and Orashi River had risen above sea level, adding that the implication would result to overflowing of the river into the said communities.
He also noted that large farm lands in the areas had been submerged by flood.
“We are taking serious measures to avoid reoccurrence of the 2012 flooding but residents in these areas must be ready to quit to avoid major casualties should there be any flooding,” Ugoh said.
According to him, “the Oguta Lake, a tributary of Orashi River has strong connection with the River Niger and has in recent times posed serious danger to residents of the river bank areas.”
“Prone communities must be alert and always monitor the movement of sea in their area and report same to the agency promptly for immediate action.”
He advised the communities that, “You must continue to monitor movement of sea constantly and report to us where necessary for immediate action.”
“We had earlier put some measures in place and cleared some flood, but this year’s flood came in a way we did not expect. But we thank God that so far there is no human casualty.
“We are using this opportunity to call for Federal and State governments’ interventions to enable us address the issue and be able to reopen when the flood reduces.”
Obini, who expressed shock over the magnitude of the flood, attributed it lack of proper drainage system within the host community, recalling that the in 2012, the flood menace of that year also disrupted academic activities in the institution for several months.
While commending the efforts of both NEMA and the State Emergency Maintenance Agency (SEMA) in handling the situation across the country, he called for assistance to the polytechnic to ensure early resumption of academic activities.