By Sunny A. Ijomah
The Transition Chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mr. Arinze Awogu said that no fewer than 100 displaced persons were taking refuge at the secretariat.
Mr. Awogu made this known while speaking with newsmen in Atani, the local government headquarters on Wednesday.
The Transition Chairman says that the State Government has commenced desilting of drainages in parts of Ogbaru Local Government Area of the State in its effort at tackling flood menace in the area.
He said blocked drainages were part of the factor that exacerbated flood in Ogbaru which was natural flood prone.
The Transition Chairman said the cleanup which was being spearheaded by the newly created Anambra State Drainage and Forest Preservation Agency, would go a long way to freeing the drains and lead storm water to natural waterways.
According to him, the Obodoukwu Road drainage channel that connects from Onitsha-Owerri Road to Elevant-House, Ojoto Street and Atani were the areas that witnessed the State government led massive cleanup.
“The massive clean-up coming is at a time when the council needed to open up blocked water channels so as to reduce the effect of the flood ravaging the council at the moment.
“We want to thank Governor Willie Obiano for tackling issues of blocked drainages as most failed roads were as a result of water finding its way into the road because its channel had been blocked,” Mr. Awogu said.
The Transition Chairman, who said that a number of families had been displaced from their homes due to flood, said some of the blocked drains had not been cleaned for more than10 years.
Mr. Awogu called on residents of Ogbaru especially the flood exposed areas to stop dumping refuse in drains and engage in periodic clean up exercise to make the flood paths free.
“At the moment no fewer than 100 persons displaced by flood were currently taking refuge at the Atani Holding Camp.
“I call on the people to adopt acceptable ways of disposing waste because the era of dumping waste into water channels was over,” the Transition Chairman said.
Chief Augustine Uyanne, a resident of the area said that some of the drainages had been blocked with sand for a long time that whenever it rained, water finds its way to their houses.
According to him, the drainage has been totally covered with sand and stagnant water to the point that we no longer remember that we no longer see it as a drainage channel.
Also speaking, Chief Chido Obidiegwu, Managing Director of Anambra State Drainage and Forest Preservation Agency, said the Obiano was fully committed to addressing environmental challenges in the State.
“The Agency will leave no stone unturned in its determination to make Anambra State clean.
“We want to assure that the Agency will ensure that drainages are no longer blocked and the only way to ensure that drainages are not blocked is to stop anybody that wants to dispose.