The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has commenced an assessment tour of communities ravaged by flood in Imo.
The tour is to enable the agency ascertain the level of damages recorded by the flood and possible solutions.
The leader of the team and Head of Imo-Abia Operations Office, Mr Evans Ugoh, said that on the spot assessment revealed that farmlands and other economic crops were washed away by flood in various communities in Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta LGA.
He said that household properties worth millions of naira were also damaged, while some houses were submerged by the flood.
According to him, the assessment further reveals that the bank of River Niger overflowed, resulting in the high level devastation recorded in three various communities of the two local governments.
“We received a `Save Our Soul’ message from Mr Charles Orie, the Managing Director of Imo State Oil Producing Area Development (ISOPADEC), on the level of damage recorded in the two communities.
“Hence the need for NEMA to embark on an assessment tour.
“Based on the SOS received from ISOPADEC, NEMA quickly inaugurated a delegation to visit the flood ravaged communities,’’ he said.
Ugoh advised farmers in the areas to always engage in early farming and harvesting and also encouraged them to plant flood resistant crops in their farmlands.
He said that the River Niger needed to be dredged for the issue of flooding to be a history in the area.
“We are here today on a visit to flood ravaged communities in the two LGAs to take inventories of the level of damage caused by the flood.
“We have seen the untold hardship in the area due to the menace, we assure you that NEMA will not leave the victims to their faith, we will do our best to assist them,’’ he said.
He appealed to ex-militants in the area who had threatened the government on the persisted flood menace not to go violent, but to be patient with both federal and state governments for possible solutions.
The communities visited during the assessment tour included the communities of Opuoma, Obiakpu, Ahiafor among others.
A community leader in the area, Mr China Ekwerenba, told the delegation that the issue of flooding had become a perennial issue in the two LGAs.
He said in spite of the flood protection shore built by NDDC in the area, the issue of flooding had persisted.