By Sabi Onyenwe, Owerri
Four communities in Imo State now have a choice to either flee or perish. This is a fallout of the alerts sent by weather experts which have been narrowed down to those communities.
In view of an impending destructive-flooding likely to affect some communities in Imo State, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has issued a relocation warning to four erosion- and flood-prone communities.
The areas the relocation notice was issued to include Eziorsu, Afiaofu, Orsuobodo and Osemoto communities, all in Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta local government areas in Imo State.
The National Emergency Management Agency went further to disclose that some communities along the Orashi bank of the River Niger would be affected by the anticipated flooding.
NEMA stated that the warning became imperative following the prediction of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) that had predicted and disclosed to the public that these communities in Imo as well as others in some states of the federation would be affected by devastating flood in 2019.
To this, Evans Ugoh, head of Imo/Abia Operations Office of NEMA who gave the warning, said the flood-prone communities must remain alert even as he stated that they should equally take bold steps by relocating to other areas.
He further cautioned against building or erecting structures on waterways and that government muster political courage to demolish all houses and structures built on such waterways.
“People are usually not serious when it comes to early warning prediction, but we will continue to educate people on the need to always monitor the sea level around them and also report same to authorities”, Evans Ugoh said.
He informed that NEMA and other disaster stakeholders are always alert on the development. “We are aware of the prediction and we have mobilised well in case of any emergency “, he said.
He further disclosed that the best international disaster approach is as much as one can prevent it rather than allow it happen.