Hundreds of people have been rendered homeless in Abacheke community in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State due to a flood incident that has submerged many homes and farmlands, destroying cash crops and other sources of livelihood in the community.
The surging of the flood which started a week ago became so much on Saturday that it has gone beyond Abacheke to neighbouring communities who now resort to using boats to move in an area that used to be dry land.
Speaking on the incident, the traditional ruler of the community, HRH Eze Ikeji Bright thanked NEMA officials for their prompt response in conducting an assessment of the flood.
He said his people are predominantly farmers and many have returned home after being displaced from their farm settlements and fishing jobs.
The monarch regretted that many of his subjects are now refugees in their own community due to the ugly incident which submerged many houses and the only secondary school in the area.
He appealed, “government should assist us, we need urgent assistance such as food items, clothing, mosquito nets and other relief materials, this year’s flood came unnoticed, we have lost so many things including our plantations, my people are now refugees in their own community, we need govt intervention as soon as possible”
Also speaking, the Coordinator of Egbema North Development Area, Obinna Ariaga disclosed that the people of Abacheke community and other neighbouring communities affected by the flood do not have any land for mobility.
Obinna hinted that his people who are mainly farmers have lost their farm produce as a result of the flood and soon the area will be plunged into hunger and starvation. He also opined that there may be an outbreak of sicknesses and diseases as a result of the flood which he said has polluted the area.
In his words ” my people are in a terrible situation, most of the displaced families do not have any place they can take refuge in, I hereby appeal to the Federal Government through NEMA, international organizations and other well-spirited individuals to come to the rescue of Abacheke community and other neighbouring communities affected by this flood”
Narrating his ordeal, one of the victims affected by the flood and a farmer from the community, James Elemma, lamented that the flood has rendered his entire household homeless and destroyed his properties.”
James called for assistance, saying he can no longer feed his family as he can no longer go to his fishing job where he gets his daily bread from.
Another victim who spoke to our correspondent, Adolphus Nwokocha, said he is a well-known farmer in the community and that this year’s flood destroyed about one hectare of his cassava farm.
”I laboured so much during the last planting season, I did not only lose my farmland, but the flood also destroyed tones of processed ‘garri’, I call on the Imo State government and the Federal Government to come to our rescue by bringing a lasting solution to the perennial flooding that ravages Abacheke community and other communities in Ohaji/Egbema LGA”
Speaking shortly after conducting an assessment of the affected areas, Nwaeze Innocent, Team leader and Principal Site and Rescue Officer of NEMA, Imo State disclosed that the situation is a very severe one and that NEMA will put together a comprehensive report of its assessment to enable the Federal Government make provision of relief materials and other items that could help ameliorate the sufferings of the affected communities.
According to Nwaeze ” there are going to be cases of a secondary emergency situation as a result of this flood incident, I advise the people of Abacheke and other communities affected by the flood to urgently evacuate from the affected area and as well relocate their children to a safer ground”
He also advised the people of the community to discontinue the construction of new buildings in the area that is always submerged by the flood to avoid wasting their hard-earned resources.