From Nweke Nweke, Awka
Residents of Oduke, Ibollo and Owelle-aja layouts in Obosi, near Onitsha, Anambra State are presently counting their looses following the flood which wreaked havoc at the weekend as no fewer than twenty (20) children have been declared missing while more than 100 buildings submerged, vehicles and other house property were destroyed by the flood that ravaged the layouts.
It would be recalled that Oduke and Ibollo residents have been suffering from severe flooding which they say was caused by the wrong channeling of drainage by a construction company that constructed Ezeiweka Road, Awada, Obosi-Nkpor Road, all in Obosi in the past leading to surge of heavy floods into their area.
On Thursday evening, torrential rainfall that lasted for about two hours left the entire area flooded leading to several damages even as parents have been searching frantically for their missing children swept away in the flood.
247ureports.com that visited the area at the weekend sighted women and children weeping profusely while men were engaged in rescue operations. Some nursing mothers whose little babies were later rescued from the flood were also seen clutching the babies after receiving medical attention from different hospital.
Angry residents of Oduke layout had earlier blocked the busy Ezeiweka Obosi road that connects travelers to the Onitsha-Owerri highway chanting war songs while vehicular movements were stalled for several hours.
The protesters said they voted massively for Chief Willie Obiano during the last governorship election that made him Governor and called on him to physically visit their area for on the spot assessment of their problems with a view to addressing them urgently before they all perishes.
Among the properties damaged in the flood included two four storey buildings still under construction at Owelle Aja that fell to the rubbles and several other residential buildings, fences, schools, churches and vehicles at Oduke and Ibollo either submerged completely or pulled down by the rampaging flood.
Addressing newsmen after taking them round the submerged and damaged properties, Chairman of Oduke Landlords Association and his Ibolo counterpart, Nicholas Okechukwu and Chimezie Osuchukwu respectively said that they have been crying out to the Anambra State government to come to their aid since 2013 till now but all to no avail.
They lamented that the problem of the area in constant flooding is man- made disaster and tragedy foretold while they have spent all within their resources to handle the situation but help has not come from any outside quarter.
They lamented that that about ten (10) people have died from the disaster since the problem started while they have suffered untold hardship and economic losses over the incident.
Putting the estimated loss of properties from the current incident to about N15b, they called on the Anambra State government to declare a State of Emergency on the flooding problem in the layouts and address the problem holistically.
Also at the International Electronics Market, Onitsha about 1500 shops and goods worth over N800m were also damaged by flood.
The President of the Market, Mr. Izuchukwu Okoye said the flood came into the market when the volume could not be contained by the drainages along the Onitsha-Asaba Expressway.
“Goods damaged were mainly from A and B lines and we appeal to the State Government to come to our rescue”, Okoye stated.
Contributing, the Secretary of the Market, Comrade Damian Ogudike said, “We pay our taxes and levies to the State Government. The drainages are the problems and the expectation is that the state government should work on the drainages to be higher than they are now”.
“You can see the traders insisting that the money they paid to the government should be refunded to them since their problems in the market are not being solved”, the secretary revealed.
Reacting, Anambra State Chairman of NEMA, Mr. Paul Odenigbo who was at the scene of the incidents, frowned some wealthy men in the society have no regard to the constituted authorities. He blamed the flood disaster to unlawful erecting magnificent buildings without the approval of the authorities concerned.
The man who doubles the State Chairman of SEMA whoever sympathized to those affected, vowing to hand his findings to his Abuja office and Anambra State government for necessary actions.
Efforts made to reach the traditional ruler of Obosi Community, His Majesty, Igwe Chhidubem Iweka, (Iweka Obosi 111) and the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Awada Police Division, CSP Dimale Joseph Oyibostaas at the time of filing this report hit at the rock.
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