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September 26, 2023

Anambra Farmers in Limbo as Flood Threatens 50 Communities

No fewer than 50 communities in seven Local Government Areas of Anambra State may be submerged, according to an alarm raised over the threat of severe flooding in the state.

 This is coming hours after the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) alerted the country about a looming flood disaster in 19 states, including Anambra State, warning that adequate preparations should be made in good time to avert the level of devastation that occurred during last year’s flood disaster across the country.

Many communities affected by last year’s flood are yet to recover from it despite interventions by some donor agencies.

Local government areas threatened are Anambra East, Anambra West, Awka North, Ayamelum, Ogbaru, as well as parts of Ihiala and Ekwusigo.

However, farmers residing in the coastal areas of the state have been forced to embark on early harvesting of their crops as the flood has been coming with great speed.

Reacting to the incident, the Anambra State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Felix Odimegwu has begun sensitization and awareness campaigns to the flood -prone communities of the state.

The state government has also directed Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen to organize town hall meetings to educate the communities on what to do ahead of the flooding.

Fish and pig farmer at Omor in Ayamelum local government area, Mr. Clement Igwilo said Ifite Ogwari, Omor , Umuerum in the area are seriously threatened, just as Aguleri in Anambra East and Awba Ofemili in Awka North local government area are gradually being taken over by the flood.

He said: “We have over 350 large fish farms on the waterways and once the flood comes, it sweeps away everything and we are left with nothing.

It is sad that we are harvesting so early but we have no choice so as to save as much as we can.

“Those that are worse affected are the farmers that planted yams and cassava because they are harvesting too early.”

Monica Nwoye, a farmer at Inoma in Anambra West local government area said that it is not enough for the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to raise alarm, adding that it should come on time to assist the farmers.

”Every year, the government would shout and tell us that flood is coming, but it ends there. They do nothing to save our farms and after the flood, the government would forget us and wait for another flood,” she said.

Prince Chris Okwuosa, a fish farmer from Umuzu community in Ogbaru local government area lamented that the Bank of Industry and Nigeria Agricultural Bank have not helped matters, warning of imminent food crisis next year due to the impending flood.

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