RESIDENTS of Anambra State have been warned against the impending flooding and intense rainfalls predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet).
The state government has advised that residents protect all their properties, especially household and essential belongings.
In a statement on Friday, April 28, the state Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, said residents should avoid constructing structures on water channels and clogging drainages.
He urged residents to clear the gutters and drainages in their vicinities and ensure that no one “disposes trash without moving to higher ground before the flood becomes neck deep”.
“Make concrete plans to secure your household properties and essential belongings as much as possible before the flood sets in.
“Plan to get your family and the aged, the sick, pregnant women, infants and children evacuated well on time to safety nets (Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps provided by the Anambra State Government (ANSG) to avoid preventable loss of lives. Timely evacuation is key.
“De-silting of water channels should be done continuously as a huge amount of silt is deposited in water channels after rainfall; people should stop constructing in water plains and across water channels,” the statement said.
Anambra is one of the states predicted to experience heavy flooding in 2023.
The 2023 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction and Annual Flood Outlook released by NiMet and a report by the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NHSA) both predicted that there will be high rainfall and flooding across the country this year.
The report identified Adamawa, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Edo, Gombe and Imo as states with a high risk of flooding.
Anambra State was among the states that battled massive flooding in 2022. Over 300 communities in six local government areas in the state were submerged for weeks.
According to NiMET’s 2023 prediction, the flood risk areas in Anambra include Ogbaru, Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Awka North, Idemili South, Ekwusigo and Ihiala LGAs.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has affirmed that the prediction is about a hundred per cent accurate.
The agency’s spokesperson Manzo Ezekiel said the predictions made in the reports are already beginning to play out, and advised that the states should act urgently.
“NiMET predicted an early onset of rain, and we have seen the early onset of rain. There would be flooding unless there are changes by God or any other factor. The forecast should be taken seriously, and those residing in prone areas should begin to relocate to high grounds.”