By Chimaobi Nwaiwu- Nnewi
No fewer than six people have lost their lives in Anambra West Local Government Area, Anambra State, following the raging and devastating flood that has taken over the whole of the communities in the area, including the Diocese of Mbamili Cathedral Church of St Michael Umuikwu Anam, belonging to the Church of Nigeria Anglican communion, and the only one in the area.
The is was disclosed to Vanguard in an interview by the traditional ruler of Mmiata Anam His Royal Highness, Igwe Sylvester Nnose, who was visibly worried that he will soon be evacuating from his palace following the threatening flood.
Already the Bishop Court where Bishop of Mbamili Diocese Rt. Rev. Henry Okeke, and his family lives and have his office, have long been submerged and repeated calls made by the Bishop for intervention when the flood was gradually taking over the court was not heeded.
Bishop Okeke told Vanguard that he has relocated his family out of the Bishop Court and incidentally, St. Johns Anglican Church Umueze Anam, where he parked his personal car and those belonging to the Diocese, attached to his office, have also been submerged, with no place to worship in the Diocese.
Igwe Nnose who may be vacating his palace any moment from Thursday, following the raging flood and its growing height, urged the Federal Government to declare State of Emergency in Anambra West Council Area, adding that the people have no place to run, a similar call also made by the President General of Umueze Anam, Dr Emma Udeakpee.
The traditional ruler, the Aman Communities and the entire Anambra West Local Government people have therefore, appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, to come to their aid following the submerging of their residential houses and their farm lands and crops by the flood.
Traditional Ruler of Mmiata Anam, Igwe Nnose and the President General of Umueze Anam Dr. Udeakpee made the calls in their respective interviews when Vanguard visited Umuikwu Anam Thursday.
Some of the communities in Anambra West Local government area are, Umuikwu Anam, Umudora Anam, Oroma Etiti Anam, Umueme Anam, Umueze Anam, Umuoba Anam, Mmiata Anam, Iyiora Anam, Nzam, Olumbanasa Ward 1 and Ward 2 and Ukwalla.
According to Igwe Nnose, “As you can see, we have lost so many things, including six lives, multi billion naira house hold properties, crops we are yet to harvest and those we were harvesting before the flood came and other things in the community, there is an urgent need to relocate the victims as quickly as possible, otherwise more lives will be lost.
Also speaking the President General of Umueze Anam, Dr. Udeakpee said except the Federal and State governments intervenes the people of Anambra West will be badly handicapped as they do not have any place to relocate to.
“Although the flood is an annual event, but it has risen beyond normal, the level where we expected the flood to reach has been long submerged, our children are no more going to school, let alone going to church in the whole communities.
“The fact remains that our people are the food basket of this nation; We cultivate Yam, Cassava, Coco yam, assorted types of Vegetable and am sure there is no local government in Nigeria that cultivates things in their numbers like us, that is why it has become very imperative for Federal and state Governments to come to our rescue now.”
One of the victims of the flood Mrs. Ngozi Ikwuegbu, told Vanguard that they are stranded, waiting for Federal and State governments intervention, they have been long promised.