Thousands displaced as flood sweeps 17 communities in Imo

Thousands of people have been rendered homeless as flood overran Abacheke in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.

 This comes less than six months after more than 100 people died in the area following an explosion that occurred in an illegal mining facility.

The flood also submerged farmlands, cash crops, schools, churches, markets, cultivated farmlands, fishing facilities, interlinking access roads and other sources of livelihood in the community.

 Affected residents have evacuated their properties from their homes as the flood hit rooftops.

The Head of Operations, National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), Mr Ifeanyi Nnaji, who confirmed the development, said an assessment carried out by the agency revealed that the flood occurred following the rise in water level around the Orashi river and Oguta lake; the tributaries of River Niger.

Nnaji said, “Findings from the assessment revealed a monumental flood covering about 15 communities, thereby affecting about three thousand people. Majority have been completely displaced, while some are residing with relatives and neighbouring villages. Schools, churches, markets, cultivated farmlands, fishing facilities, interlinking access roads and residential homes were severely damaged as most buildings were totally submerged by the flood. Livestock and electricity have been seriously affected.”

The traditional ruler of the Abacheke community, HRH Eze Ikeji Ifeanyi Bright, attributed the cause of the flood to the recent heavy downpour and the overflow of the banks of the River Niger tributaries.

He added that even though it is a yearly occurrence, the current flooding is the second time they will be witnessing this magnitude after the 2012 floods. He called on NEMA to, as a matter of urgency, come to their help.

The NEMA team, led by Nweze Innocent, sympathized with the Eze and the entire affected communities for the losses and called on the people to move to higher and safer grounds for safety pending when the water would recede.

He added that villagers should harvest their remaining crops as the volume of water would likely increase from the assessment.

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