Flood victims in riverine areas of Anambra State, particularly Umueze Anam community of Anambra West Local Government Area have cried out for help, saying they now sleep on bridges in the area.
This follows the sack of the entire communities by flood.
Homes, markets and farmlands have reportedly been submerged by flood, displacing indigenes.
Newspot reporter who took a tour of the submerged area found that indigenes of the area have fallen into severe hardship following the destruction of their properties and farms.
In Anambra East LGA, a popular riverside market; Otuocha market was totally submerged by water, with no roofs of shops in the market visible.
Traders who spoke to Newspot lamented that most of their wares were still in their shops when they resumed for business last week and found that the market was now a huge body of water.
Mr Anthony Okeke, a bread supplier said, “I came very early to the market to find out that my shop has been submerged. You know, bread is not something you can retrieve once water touches it. This one I am selling now are bread supplied to me on credit. We are calling on the government to come to our aid, help us with loans, so we can start afresh. You see we now trade on the main road.”
In Umueze Anam and Mmiata Anam in Anambra West LGA, both communities, which are neighbours to each other, have been divided by water. For Umueze Anam, the entire community is currently under water, with no exception.
A victim, Mr John Okoye said “We now sleep on the rooftop of our buildings, for those who have storey buildings, and you have to keep your canoe handy for emergency movement, while others sleep on the newly constructed Umueze Anam bridge, which also serves as both residence and markets for the sale of our food crop.
“I am a canoe operator. I have sent my family away, but for me, I sleep on the bridge here, same for other members of the community. Once it is late, we start making arrangements about the space we will sleep on the bridge.”
He lamented that flooding has become a yearly occurrence for them, urging the federal and state government to come to their aid. He denied receiving a prior warning about the flood from the state government, or any relocation plan.
Attempts to speak with the chairman of the Anambra East LGA, Barr Obi Nweke over plans to relocate the displaced people was not possible as he was said not to have arrived at his office at the time of the visit.
However, an official of the council area who spoke to me on conditions of anonymity said it was not true that the indigenes were not alerted.
“The chairman kept shouting it to them for months now. NIMET (Nigeria Meteorological Agency) had since early this year predicted that there will be flood this year and that Anambra will be among the states. We have been shouting it and also created IDP camps, so how can they say they did not hear.
“The truth is that these people are used to the water, so even as you are feeling for them, they see it as nothing.”