A heavy downpour which has taken over the better part of the last 4 days in most parts of Ebonyi state has resulted to serious flooding in Akaeze and Amasiri community in Ivo and Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi, State.
The flood at the weekend sacked more than 5000 residents of the area in the two local government areas destroying properties worth millions, farmland and livestock while the residents are now taking refuge in schools and churches.
When LEADERSHIP visited the area, it was observed that properties belonging to the victims were still trapped inside their houses as the people abandoned the properties to run for their lives and save their children from drowning in the flood.
In a bid to avert the destruction of documents and some other valuables, youths of the community were mobilized and many of them were seen scooping water from the houses while others watched helplessly as the flood continued to surge into the building.
Apart from the houses the flooding wracked havoc, it also caused heavy damage to some new generation church makeshift building along the axis as members of the church who had prepared the church for Sunday service had to battle with the flood to avoid carrying away the plastic chairs in the church.
One of the victims who is a Pastor overseeing one of the new generation church, Pastor Wilfred Nwodo disclosed that apart from the houses and the churches, more than farmland stretching more that 3 kilometers were submerged by flood adding that over 5000 persons have been displaced in the community.
The Pastor attributed the flooding to lack of drainage system in the community, the numerous mining activities going on in the place and the hilly nature of the area as the flood runs down from the hills and cause damage to the houses in the area.
Though no life was lost, Pastor Nwodo said that household appliances, lifestocks and farmlands were destroyed by the flooding and urged the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA and State Emergency Management Agency to come to their rescue.
According to him: “the flood came to us unexpected as we were not expecting any flood this year, though the area is a flood prone area. The damage it caused in the community was so much. It’s one of the biggest flooding we have experienced in recent time. The flood meanly affected mostly the people living along the ever busy Amasiri/Okigwe express road”.
“Regrettably, that’s where we have our farmlands and our livestock. The flood destroyed most of the land. The Police station in the area, many churches and business centers along the area was not spared as many of them suffered great loss. If we decide to quantify the damage, it would be running into millions of naira.
Another victim, Elder Friday Again said, “the flood displaced many families: “take a look at those houses, the level of water in the houses, you can observe that the police station and the church opposite it has been submerged. People are making frantic effort to save some of their properties. I don’t think anyone will sleep in the houses along this road to avoid further danger. A lasting solution should be found as the flood poses danger to us as a people”.
“We therefore urge the state and the Federal government to come to our aid. I am a business woman who deals on food stuff and I just returned from the market and stocked my shop with bags of rice, beans and garri now they are all gone. I don’t know how to start and what to do next. The flooding devastated many of us as we can’t feed our families since everything has been destroyed”.
“When you go round the community, you will weep for the people, the more you try to stop the flood from entering the houses, the more it comes heavier. We seriously need assistance. It is a natural disaster and we didn’t know it will cause this level of havoc”.
“I must commend Afikpo council boss who hails from this community for mobilizing boys to assist us to save some of our properties and I must confess, he has been of great assistance to us since the ugly incident.
All effort to reach the council boss, Hon Oko Enyim and the member representing the area, Hon Ogbonnaya Ikoro proved abortive.
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