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Traders, residents count losses as flood submerge shops, homes in Aba

By Ugochukwu Alaribe

ABA-Traders at the Ariaria International, Cemetery and the New Markets in Aba, Abia State, are now counting their losses after a downpour that hit the city last Wednesday.

The torrential rains which began at about 3pm flooded all parts of the city as it sacked residents from their homes property worth over N10 million were lost to the flood.

South-East Voice gathered that the traders at Lines 10, 15 and 18 in New Market were worst hit as a dealer on clothing; Mr. Obinna Oguguo lost over 32 bales of clothes worth N90,000 each. Over 23 traders were affected at Line 10 of the market including Ogbu Onwuka, Samuel Ehileme and Daniel Isaac who estimated their losses at about N10.9 million. In line 43, a dealer on beans who  declined to have her name in print had her shop submerged with over 20 bags damaged.

“Our shops were submerged and goods destroyed. There are about 23 traders who were mostly affected by the flood. What we have lost here is over N10 million. We are appealing to the government to come to our aid. “

A trader at the Ariaria International market, Kelechi Azubuike, lamented that they lost goods worth over N10 million to the menacing flood.

A patent medicine dealer at the market who pleaded anonymity, stated that even the barriers they raised to check the flood from entering their shops were washed away and their goods destroyed. South-East Voice visited the market a day after the flood and observed the traders bailing out water from their shops while others could barely find space to enter into the shops.

At the Ndiegoro area, many residents of Ahuronye Street, Nwaogu, as well as Matthew in the Obuda/Eziukwu and Ohanku areas were also rendered homeless.

Sources said there was confusion as most parents scampered to save children as the Ndiegoro area was prone to flood. A landlord in the area lamented that the problem of flooding was not new, but the damage have worsened.

According to him, the abandoned drainage in the area had diverted all flood coming from other axes into their street and homes.

“We have been crying for many years now. I couldn’t enter my house as everywhere was submerged. I didn’t bring out anything from my house. I nearly lost my 13-year-old daughter to that flood. She was the last to leave the house as I was told, but suddenly fell into the flood.

A resident of 15 Ahuronye Street, Mr. Alex Kewell while narrating his ordeal said: “It was around 6pm on Wednesday, the flood broke our fence, took over the entire building and destroyed every property we had.

“As at now, we are homeless and stranded. The rain started around 4pm and the flood submerged the entire building in our street and neighborhood around 6pm. The whole problem is coming from an abandoned drainage that was wrongly channeled to us some years back, but the government has refused to do anything to save us. We only rejoice in dry season, but once it’s rainy season, our world comes to an end.”

Pastor Oriaku Chisom, Senior Pastor of Garden of Life Ministries at No. 6 Ahuronye Street lamented that flood has become an annual thing in the axis.

“It has become an annual event. What’s happening is neglect by our leaders. My church is here, but I parked out from these areas some years back and the problem is still there. Yesterday’s flood got to the shoulder level in some of the houses as at 7pm.”

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