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NEMA advises Imo, Abia flood-prone communities to relocate to safer grounds

Johnkennedy Uzoma, Owerr

Communities located within flood prone areas in Imo and Abia states have been advised to consider relocating to safer grounds over likely flooding incident that would salvage them.

Head of Imo- Abia Operations Office of the National  Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr.Evans Ugoh, gave the warning when he visited the communities in Imo and Abia states to sensitise them on flood prediction by Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET).

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Already, the Nigeria Hydrological Services (NIHSA) and Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had earlier predicted torrential rain in 28 states including Imo, in September, which it said might cause flooding in the affected states.

Ugoh said based on the prediction, it became necessary for NEMA to hold a sensitisation campaign in Imo and Abia states which ended in roadwork and rally, in Abia State.

Ugoh, who led team of NEMA officials and other disaster stakeholders to the sensitisation rally, warned against building houses on waterways and further hinted that houses already built on waterways in the two states may be demolished.

The Nigerian Xpress gathered that some communities in Imo State have come under serious flood attack since 2012, with no fewer than 80 houses submerge in Ohaji-Egbema and Ogutta council in 2019.

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According to Ugoh, “In continuation of NEMA’s flood sensitisation and in response to the flood prediction by NIMET that there would be torrential rain in 28 states from September till December”.

He also said that the DG NEMA, Mr. Mohammed Mohammed, approved the sensitisation program, aimed at sending early warning signal to prone communities.

He advised residences in Imo and Abia areas of the communities to ensure monthly sanitation and regular dicongestion of drainages.

The NEMA official mentioned local governments likely to be affected by the flood in Abia to include Umunochi council, Osisioma Ngwa, Isiala Ngwa North, Ukwa West among others.

Others include Ideato South LGA, Owerri West, Owerri North Ohaji-Egbema, Oguta in Imo State, among  others.