Over the past three weeks, the nation has faced an unprecedented flood disaster resulting in loss of lives and property running into billions of Naira. Several states were affected, with Anambra, being the most acutely affected.
As of today, eight local government areas are affected, with Anambra West and Ogbaru LGAs now completely under water. The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) now runs into thousands with an estimated 10,000 homes fully or partially submerged. Leading industries in south of the Onitsha Metropolis are also under water and no longer operational. The situation for these communities remains dire and very bleak. While homes, farmlands and livelihoods and productivity estimated at billions of naira have been lost, there has been minimal loss of lives with four casualties, thanks to the early warning and proactive intervention of the Anambra State Government (ANSG). Nonetheless, Anambra State is now a flood disaster zone.
The Anambra State Government has risen to the occasion, doing its utmost, within its limited resources to assist the affected communities and IDPs. The State-based Army and Navy formations,
the police, churches and NGOs have been most proactive in assisting the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in rendering the much-needed assistance to those most affected.
His Excellency Gov. Peter Obi, CON, has called on the Federal Government to intervene to assist those affected by this horrendous flood disaster. Other well-meaning Anambrarians have made similar calls to the Federal Government, as well as to international donors and organizations to assist the State. So far, SEMA, and its federal counterpart, NEMA, as well as UNICEF have conducted needs assessment missions. Consequently, relief materials are being delivered by NEMA and other donors, but remain far from the robust support required under the present circumstances.
ANSG in collaboration with the Nigerian Army and Navy continue to carry out evacuation and search and rescue (SAR) missions for stranded persons. Those already evacuated are being hosted in fifteen (15) IDP camps, namely, Sharon House, Bishop Crowder School, the Army Barracks, New Bethel Primary School, and Onitsha-South LGA premises in Onitsha; Health Centre Umueje, Community Primary School Igbakwu, the Skills Acquisition Centre Anaku, in Ayamelum LGA; St. Augustine Catholic Church and Unity Primary School Umuoba Anam; General Hospital Umuleri, and St Joseph Secondary School, Aguleri, all in Otuocha and Schools in Ossomala, Atani and St. Gregory Church Odekpe in the Ogbaru LGA.
The IDPs are accommodated and fed with medical care provided to them by the Anambra State Government and its local collaborators.
Well-meaning citizens and organization have also been making donations in kind, through SEMA. All in-kind donations should be directed to the SEMA Office along the Enugu-Onitsha Road (by J-Jumac Hotel), Awka (SEMA contact is 08037424242). Similarly, numerous enquiries about cash donations from Nigerians and Anambrarians at home and in the Diaspora have necessitated the establishment of a centralized fund where the donations can be remitted:
The ANSG has set up the Anambra State Flood Disaster Emergency Fund, at the following banks:
Diamond Bank, Nigeria, PLC
AC #: 0028548840
Fidelity Bank, Nigeria, PLC
AC #: 4020912984
Prof. Chinyere Stella Okunna, Chief of Staff/Commissioner for Economic Planning
Ms. Ngozika B. Okoye, Hon. Commissioner for Finance
Mrs. Azuka Enemo, Hon. Commissioner for Local Government
ANSG invites Anambrarians and the Nigerians at home and in Diaspora as well as all well-meaning citizens of the world to rally to the support of the affected citizens of Anambra State. The bigger challenge will be in the medium and longer terms, when the IDPs will need to be returned to their respective homes, rehabilitated and resettled after the flood recedes. The ANSG will be counting on the Federal Government, its agencies, especially NEMA and its international partners, to join with it in overcoming this unprecedented humanitarian challenge.
We thank all those who have expressed concern in cash or in kind or sent goodwill messages about this catastrophic disaster.
Oseloka H. Obaze
Secretary to the Anambra State Government