Two federal government agencies-the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency in conjunction with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have listed 14 councils in Anambra state as high risk areas prone to flash flood disaster this year.
The council areas include Aguata, Anambra-East and West, Njikoka, Idemili North, Ogbaru, Anaocha, Ayamelum, Dunukofia, Orumba-North and Onitsha-North as well as the Onitsha South.
The Acting Director General, Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr Olayinka Ogunwale, made the startling prediction in Awka, while presenting a paper on the 2018 Annual Flood Outlook at a sensitisation workshop.
The acting DG, who was represented by the Director in charge of Engineering Hydrology in the agency, Mr. Clement Nze, called on the state government and NEMA to intensify efforts to mitigate the outbreak.
Ogunwale described the high alert button as inevitable, hence the need for early preparation to reduce a sever impact. He also called for residents’ attitudinal change towards the environment.
He listed major factors that contribute to recurrent flood disaster in the state as overflowing of rivers, high intensity of rainfall, improper urban planning and flood plains, as well as indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the water ways.”
The Anambra State Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr. Obi Nwankwo, in his presentation urged residents to avoid practices that would encourage flooding.
“The state government through the Ministry of Environment, Beautification and Ecology has embarked on massive desilting of drainages as well as partnering the World Bank in recovering of lands from erosion as part of its efforts towards preventing the recurrence of flood as witnessed in the state last year,” he emphasised.