- Following sustained inquiries from various individuals and groups in Anambra State and beyond on how they can contribute to the alleviation of the suffering of victims of the current flood disaster in the state which has gravely affected five local government areas, the Anambra State government has opened centres where relief materials can be sent.
- The centres are at the office of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Awka, and at the headquarters of Ogbaru Local Government Area, Ayamelum LGA, Awka North LGA, Anambra East LGA, Anambra West LGA, Onitsha North LGA and Onitsha South LGA as well as Ihiala LGA.
- Though the disaster affects eight LGAs in the state, it is more devastating in Ogbaru, Anambra East and West LGAs, as well as Ayamelum LGA where several communities have been submerged, resulting in the sack of over 10,000 people from their homes, schools, offices, farms, markets and places of worship.
- According to a statement by the Anambra State Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, the flood victims are “desperately in need of foodstuffs, drinking water, cooking utensils, mattresses, mats, beds, buckets, clothes, healthcare and sanitary facilities”.
- Adinuba noted that though the state government “has been preparing to grapple with the crisis since July when the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency warned that Anambra and the other riparian states where the River Niger and River Benue as well as their tributaries pass through would experience unusually high water levels comparable to those of 2012 which wrought havoc in many parts of Nigeria, the current disaster is stretching the state resources”.
- The commissioner said that “all types of relief materials can be sent to any of the mentioned LG headquarters except medicines which have to be left with the state Ministry of Health, Jerome Udoji Secretariat, Awka, to ensure professional handling and administration’’.
- He advised those who want to give money to the victims to send it to Anambra State Flood Disaster Account Number 5030091612 Fidelity Bank.
- Adinuba quoted Governor Willie Obiano as saying that “he is profoundly touched by the powerful sense of solidarity which Nigerians from different sections of the country and from all walks of life have been demonstrating with the people of Anambra State since the flood disaster’’.
- Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo last Thursday visited the flooded areas, riding in a wooden boat with Governor Obiano and Labour and Productivity Minister Chris Ngige at Umueze, Anam, in Anambra West LGA where he commended the governor for taking proactive steps to check the effects of the flood.
- The Anambra State Information commissioner could not disclose the number of fatalities since the flood began because “we are still gathering information on this issue’’, but confirmed the death of one of the twins born last Sunday at the centre for displaced persons in Ogbaru LGA and of Charles Ebele, a Catholic priest at Innoma in Anambra West LGA who saved the life of another passenger by offering him his lifejacket when their boat was capsizing owing to a high tide.
C Don Adinuba
Commissioner Information and Public Enlightenment