Awka – The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (ANSEMA) has established 28 centres for Internally Displaced Persons in the six flood-prone local government areas of the state, an official has said.
The Executive Secretary of ANSEMA, Chief Paul Odenigbo, made this known while speaking with newsmen in Awka on Monday.
Odenigbo identified the six local government areas hosting the centres as Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West, Ogbaru, Onitsha North and Onitsha South.
He said that the centres would be prepared for use once the need arose.
Odenigbo, a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), explained that the agency decided to putthe arrangement in place early so as not to be caught unawares.
He said the preparation became necessary due to the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) prediction that there would be flooding in eight major rivers across the country.
Odenigbo noted that flooding had created serious dislocations in several communities in Anambra in the past.
“Farmlands were washed away and people’s means of livelihood lost to the flood in the past.
‘‘Floods are difficult to manage when they occur and the consequences could be very destructive to both lives and property.
‘‘It is better prevented or prepared for in advance because they are inevitable in some communities.”
He advised communities located in flood-prone areas to build their resilience to flood by giving the people the necessary information for family preparedness before, during, and after flooding.
‘‘It is also necessary for the people to assemble some basic essentials needed in the family before the disaster strikes as they may not have the opportunity to shop for such essentials.
“People must stay away from the flooded area even if it seems safe because water may still be rising during such periods.
‘‘Never try to walk, swim or dive into the water because it may be moving very fast,’’ he said.