The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised flood-prone communities in Anambra to begin to relocate upland ahead of possible flooding in the state.
Mr Thickman Taminu, the Acting Coordinator of NEMA, Enugu Zonal Office, gave the advice on Tuesday in an interview in Awka, the state capital.
Taminu said that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s (NIMET) prediction of flooding in Anambra was still valid.
He said that the prospect of flooding had not been fully averted in the state.
He said that 15 Local Government Areas were predicted to be highly vulnerable.
According to him, there are two waves of flooding that are usually experienced annually.
“The one that is going on now is the heavy rain-induced category, while the one that occurs due to an overflow of rivers from waters running into the Ocean is looming,” he said.
The NEMA official, therefore, advised farmers and residents of flood-exposed areas to start harvesting early.
He also urged them to relocate to higher planes to avoid the loss of lives and destruction of their farm produce.
He said: “What we experience now are floods that come from rain and disappear almost immediately.
“However, the one that comes from overflow of rivers and dams is still coming as predicted by NIMET.
“So, we advise people to consider early harvest and relocation to higher land to minimise losses.”
Taminu, however, said that the agency had not received invitation from Anambra State Government “to either come and assess the situation or intervene in flood-related challenges.
He said that the Anambra Emergency Management Agency is the lead response agency in the state and that NEMA could only move in when invited by the state.
He said there was a need for timely assessment to enable NEMA to take proactive measures that would lead to early intervention.
The highly flood-prone Local Government Areas include Anyamelum, Awka North, Anambra East, Anambra West, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Ogbaru and Ihiala.
By Chimezie Anaso