2 ANAMBRA COMMUNITIES UNDER WATER AS RESIDENTS SLEEP ON BRIDGES, SEE PICS

Two communities, Aguleri and Anam, in Anambra West local government area have been submerged in flooding, with buildings, school and farmlands under water.

Aguleri is the home community of Anambra governor Willie Obiano.

Children have been stopped from going to school after school buildings went under water.

Hundreds around the riverine area have been forced to relocate or live in homes of residents who own upstairs buildings.

Some people displaced are having to sleep on Umueze Anam  bridge, cut off  by the flood, and markets are opening on the bridge.

A Daily Trust correspondent visiting the Otuocha market in Aguleri found shops and buildings submerged and farmlands under water.

Submerged school buildings and houses in Umueze Anam. Photo by Titus Eleweke

Worst flooding

Alex Nnoruka, of  Eziagulu-Out, Aguleri  said  flooding  has become  an annual event in the community and has defied every solution.

The area recorded one of its worst flooding in 2012.

“I have relocated to upper land because my house is  right now inside water. We hope by the November, the water level will go down and then we will go back to our houses,” he said.

There’s a feeling of hopelessness about what to do.

“All we know is that every year by September the flood will come and we leave only to come  back on November when the water goes down.” he said.

Also, Nathaniel Okeke  at the submerged Otuocha market said that their shops have been taken over by the water and they are forced to be on the road to trade .

“Look at our shops right inside water . Thank God as the water level was only rising when we packed out some of our goods,” he said.

The government had provided a camp where residents of riverine areas threatened by imminent flooding could shelter.

But Okeke said nobody told the community about the shelter camp.

John Okoye of Iyiora Anam, Anambra West local government area, said, “We are driven out of house  by the flood, we sleep anyplace we can  see space. Our farmlands are destroyed, our houses are submerged. Schools also are in water now and there is no food to eat ,no place to sleep and some of us sleep on top of this bridge.”

When Daily Trust visited the office of the chairman of the Anambra East local government area Barr. Obi Nweke, he was not available for comment but one of the aides who never wanted the name in print said that most of the people who sleep on the bridge are those who are fishing because they want to be around to tend to their fishing business.

According to the sources, government had made provision for camp earlier because the floods were announced earlier in the year.

The source further said, the flooding has become part of the communities, saying that they were born into it and they have been living with it over the year.

The executive director of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Paul Odenigbo, said that the state government had already put in place modalities for successful evacuation of the displaced flood victims to camps for displaced people.

“We have holding centres for victims of this flood. Places like Bishop Crowther School, Onitsha, St Augustine’s Catholic Church, Umuoba Anam and the one at Umueri General Hospital. The fact is that we have these centres to cater for the displaced people from Anambra West,” he said

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