In continuation of the 2023 early warning flood sensitization programme in flood prone areas of Anambra State, Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (ANSEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency South East Zonal Office extended their awareness campaign to Atani, the headquarters of Ogbaru LGA, Anambra State on Thursday 4th May 2023. This is in line with the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and Nigerian Hydrological Agency (NIHSA) which listed several LGAs of Anambra State as high flood risk and moderate flood risk.
The joint team of Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (ANSEMA) led was led by Chief Paul Odenigbo the Executive Secretary SEMA and Ngozi Echeazu the Acting Zonal Coordinator NEMA South East Zonal Office. Others in attendance are Hezekiah Samuel the representative of International Organization of Migration (IOM), New Map, Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) Local Government Chairman Hon. Paschal Aniegbuna who was represented by Mrs. Abasilim A. A. (JP), Traditional rulers, community leaders and members.
During the sensitization programme, the joint team encouraged community efforts in tackling and mitigating flood disasters in the area. The Acting Zonal Coordinator of NEMA South-East, Mrs Ngozi Echeazu in her speech reminded the people on the importance of proactive approach in disaster management vis-à-vis flood prevention, mitigation and management. According to her, the Agency is focusing much attention on flood issues due to the high losses associated to it. She encouraged the people to; ensure that farm crops are harvested in time, move to higher grounds or IDP camps in event of flooding, always be on alert, open up blocked water ways etc.
Speaking, Chief Paul Odenigbo the Executive Secretary stated that the 2023 SRP and AFO have indicated that there would be increase in rainfall which would result to flooding of the area if not properly checked. According to him floods of this nature for which we gather here today are therefore foreseen and even its magnitude expected. In the same vein the weather and rain forecast this year have also shown that Ogbaru is among the high flood risk area therefore the need for the Local Government Authorities, Town Planning Authorities and all community members to brace up to this challenge by ensuring that drainages are properly kept, solid wastes properly disposed, strict compliance to building codes and plans, etc.
Flood management were also elaborated further by staff of ANSEMA and NEMA using relevant materials such as handbills and posters which were thereafter shared out to the community people.
Hon. Nnamdi Michael Esimai the LEMC Coordinator in his vote of thanks commended the efforts of NEMA and ANSEMA in promoting disaster risk reduction and giving assistance to people affected by disaster.