By Sunny A. Ijomah
The Federal Government has been urged to build modern and bigger dams across the country as part of measures to provide enduring solution to incessant flooding across the country.
Speaking to journalists on the present devastation of some parts of the state and communities by flood, the State Vice chairman of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, Professor Peter Katchy said this would help contain excess water from heavy rains and overflow from existing dams both in the country and from neighbouring countries like Cameroon.
Professor Katchy said the country should work towards proactive defences against flood instead of relying solely on emergency interventions as flood can occur any time without warning and with accelerated speed that could result to huge socio-economic consequences.
He explained that such dams should be spread to various parts of the country and linked properly to take up excess water from rivers while there should also be proper urban planning with adequate drainage systems for all road infrastructure terminated at the right discharge points, as well as friendly disposition towards the environment to reduce adverse effects of climate change.
Professor Katchy lamented that persistent flooding in the country has resulted to large socio-economic loss to communities and individuals affected, including loss of human lives, destruction of property, farmlands, crops, livestock, disruption of socio-economic activities, health challenges as well as psychological trauma of individual and families among others.
He commended Governor Willie Obiano and Deputy Governor Nkem Okeke for building the necessary capacity and mobilizing adequate manpower and material resources to mitigate the effects of flooding across the state as well as being personally involved in the various intervention measures and urged individuals and groups to compliment efforts of the Governor towards tackling the menace.
Also speaking, a community leader in Ogbaru, Chief Victor Agolue, said buildings, farmlands, schools, health centres, hospitals, markets and other social facilities have been submerged by flood in most communities in the area.
Chief Agolue called on the federal Government to increase intervention to the state as the number of communities and people affected by flood are increasing daily.