Anambra: Beyond the Flood

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As the nation grapples with the flood disaster that has wrecked havoc and untold hardship on many riverside communities across the country citizens of Anambra state have already started looking beyond the flood.

The restoration of the basic infrastructures like roads, electricity, healthcare, churches, schools/education, agriculture, water supply, houses, bridges, drainages, farmlands and personal belongings have already agitated the minds of many.

Senator Emma Anosike who stormed the camps with a mobile hospital, as well as assorted foodstuff and cash gifts said he was worried about the hygiene in the camps and other crowded family homes and locations.

He appealed to the Federal Government and the international bodies to come to the rescue of the people. He urged that plans should commence now on how the communities would be resettled at the end of the flood. People’s private homes and public residences would need proper official assessment and certification before anyone would be allowed to go in. because the axis of the flooding nationwide happen to be the food basket of the nation, Anosike expressed concern that the flood disaster which swept away a lot of the crops, swallowed up others and forced some to early harvest could lead to food scarcity next year.

He therefore urged the FG and the National assembly to be mindful of all that especially as they consider the 2013 appropriation bill which is already before them.

He would like the state government to help the communities with health facilities, school buildings and other social infrastructures like police stations, roads, and pipe borne water amongst others.

Senator Margery Okadigbo had disclosed that she intended to use the foundation she just established in memory of her late husband to touch the lives of the victims. According to her, the foundation would canvass assistance from individuals, corporate citizens and international organizations for the benefit of the needy.

She therefore appealed to traditional rulers of the affected areas to donate plots of land where to construct tents, boreholes, toilets, clinics, bathing facilities, mosquito nets and sanitation facilities.

Her predecessor, and Special Adviser to the President Goodluck Jonathan on National Assembly Matters, Senator (Mrs.) Joy Emodi also appealed to wealthy citizens and indigenes of Anambra State to rise up now, come together and set up a Trust Fund for the rehabilitation of the flood victims.

The Presidential aide who visited the refugee camps where she donated cash, foodstuffs and other basic necessities suggested that the trust fund, when in place should be managed by select group of eminent persons in the state in conjunction with the state government.

The Special Adviser to the President also visited to commiserate with Krisoral Group of companies at Ogbaru commissioned recently by President Goodluck Jonathan, but which complex was entirely submerged by flood.

The Group Managing Director of the company, Mr. Oranu Chidume said the flood which over ran his company and kept the 1,000 work force at home was from the over flown bank of the Niger River, adding that the effect was overwhelming because the River was not properly dredged.

Emordi lamented that the flood has brought both immediate and long term hardship on the people. She feared for the health, and the effect on the education of their children. She however believed that as soon as their resettlement was sorted out, other needs would be addressed.

Emeka Anohu, a member of the state Assembly, representing Ihiala whose motion on the need for an organized state controlled care-givers and an Emergency Relief Fund into which all donations and gifts should go for proper and accountable handling led to the establishment of the Oseloka Obaze committee, want the government to consider setting up tent schools, open spaces for the victims to ventilate and exercise.

And to reduce the risk of cholera and other epidemics he wants waste disposal facilities, medical facilities from the Ministry of Health even if on intervals. While thanking the indigenes for their quick response to the situation by donating basic needs to the victims, he feared that though emergencies were hardly announced, the after effects were staring us in the face, for example, the security problem, population explosion due to idleness.

Senator Annie Okonkwo who was among the early callers to the Anambra East and West locations, said while presenting his donation of foodstuffs, toiletries, clothings, cash and other items, said he was handy to render more assistance to them.

He urged them to take heart, pointing out that hard times do not last forever but would only be for a short time. He said he was forced back from a foreign trip when he heard about the disaster.

Okonkwo who stormed the various camps with his political followers along with their gifts sympathized with the families, their leaders and loved ones. He urged the governments at local, state and Federal levels to begin now to formulate plans on how to rebuild infrastructures in the areas. He also appealed for the inclusion of all the newly flooded areas like Ugbenu, Awba-Ofemmili, Ihiala, Okija and Ozubulu among the list of those to be taken care of by the FG.

Chief Goddy Ezeemo, a philanthropist and industrialist took with him a team of doctors drawn from the state’s chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), foodstuff, cash, and toiletries, had volunteered more assistance as long as the flood lasted. He urged the government to set up a round-the-clock presence in all the camps. Also that there must be a system of gradual integration of the displaced persons into the society before the flood recedes.

Senator Chris Ngige, while addressing the victims at Ogbaru warned against diversion of relief materials meant for victims of flood disaster in the state.

He said he had been inundated with complaints of diversion of relief materials sent to the victims of the flood disaster when he visited them in their various camps in some council areas of the state yesterday. He had before that toured the flooded areas.

His warning was coming on the heels of protests in Ogbaru local government area by some of the victims who alleged that the relief materials brought to them were being diverted by authorities in the area. According to him, “These materials are meant for the victims of flood disaster in our state in order to cushion the effect of their predicament. We know that no amount of relief materials would be enough to assist the victims but we must make sure that they get to the target audience”.

“I am also here to ensure that those relief materials that were bought from Enugu, South East branch of NEMA were distributed judiciously to those they are meant for

He gave personal donation of food stuffs, drugs for adult and children, mosquito nets, cartons of disinfectants in view of the fact that as a medical practitioner the victims are being exposed to germs while the children are being exposed to cold and mosquitoes”, he said

He further urged the state governments of the affected areas to make good use of their security votes, because the flood is a threat to the security of lives and property of Nigerians.

He called on the state to send doctors and nurses should be sent to the refugee camps for medical attention in order to avert an out break of epidemics in those areas.

“There should be periodical checks on the affected people by medical practitioners at the camps and drugs should always be made available to the victims while their stay lasts,” he said

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