BY SUNNY DAVID
The lawmaker representing Ogbaru one state constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly Hon. Chukwunonso Noble Igwe has cried out to the state government to urgently respond to the pains and very agonising conditions of the people of Ogbaru and other riverine areas whom he said have been devastated by this year’s flood.
Igwe who described the situation as very catastrophic, explained that flood has rendered many people homeless and that schools, hospitals and other public facilities in the area have also been submerged by the flood.
Speaking further on the precarious situation, the lawmaker said there is a dire need that the governor should come to the aid of the Ogbaru people, Anambra-East, Anambra-West, Ayamelum and other Anambra-North indigenes.
He said, “Our buildings have been submerged. We have been rendered homeless. Schools have been submerged. Hospitals have been submerged. There is virtually no functional IDP camps for the displaced.
“We know that the governor sends relief materials to flood victims but I’m not sure these materials get to the people they are meant for. So I’m asking His Excellency to set up a committee to monitor the supply and distribution of these materials to ensure that the right persons get them. The governor should also ensure that more IDP camps are created to accommodate people being displaced by flood.”
He also drew the attention of the governor to what he described as a very bad spot in his constituency along Deeper Life bus stop Atani road Ogbaru local government area where he pointed out that if not urgently attended to, the said portion of the road would cause more damages than imagined.
According to Hon. Igwe, “We would have lost some lives in that bad portion of the road when a tricycle fell into it but it took the timely intervention of some people who dived into the River Niger to rescue the occupants of the tricycle from drowning.”
The lawmaker said Ogwuikpele, Ogwuaniocha, Osamala. Odekpe, Iyiowa, Ohita, Atani, Anumudu and some other parts of Ogbaru have been submerged by this year’s flood and that government should be empathically responsive to the cry of the flood victims.
However, Executive Secretary of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency Chief Paul Odenigbo debunked allegations of no functional holding centres for flood victims in Ogbaru and other parts of the state.
He said that the lawmaker who made such allegations was not in tune with developments in his constituency and the state in general.
Chief Odenigbo said, “We have holding centre at Ogbaru Local Government Headquarters Ogbaru. We also have at St. Patricks Osamala, Central School Odekpe and Ochuche Primary School. These are the four holding centres we have at Ogbaru.
“In Anambra-East, we have Father Joseph holding centre in Aguleri and Umundeze Primary School also in Aguleri. In Onitsha, we have a holding centre at Bishop Crowder Primary School currently housing flood victims of Anambra-West.
“In Ayamelum, we have Otaku Primary School Omor, Health Centre igbakpu, Health Centre ifiteogwuari, Boni Emengini Housing Estate Umueje and Town Hall Umuerum.
“So that allegation is false. The house member is not in touch with his home. They are all functional and if you go there, you will see displaced persons.
“Also, an 11-man team from NEMA is in the state on two major assignments: to assess the number of people involved and damages done while the second leg is the distribution of relief materials.
“So materials come from the federal government but for now, they are living on what the state government is giving them,” the Executive Secretary explained.