No fewer than 3,000 people have been rendered homeless as flood submerged more than 66 houses in Orsu Obodo in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State since last Friday. The flood followed three days of torrential downpour in the state.
Among the displaced were women, children and the elderly. One of the victims, who simply gave her name as Regina, said the residents had gone to bed on Friday night while it was raining heavily without any inkling that the river was going to overflow the bank. “We were still in bed when the water started rushing into our homes and in less than 30 minutes, the whole place was covered by water. “We could barely savage our property as we tried to save our lives first; we were not expecting such misfortune because our farms are submerged as well,” she said.
Speaking on the incident, the lawmaker representing Oguta state constituency, Frank Ugboma, called for urgent intervention from relevant government authorities to resettle the displaced persons and alleviate their plights. The lawmaker, who visited the flooded community to ascertain the level of havoc wrecked by the flood, expressed regret over the incident and urged the state government to provide immediate succour for the displaced people.
“This is the constituency I am representing; our land is a flood prone area but I assure my people that I will surely present this problem to the floor of the house”, he said. The lawmaker appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for its intervention in providing relief materials and other assistance to the flood victims.
The Head of Imo/Abia operations office of NEMA, Mr Evans Ugoh, while speaking on the incident, urged government to muster political courage to demolish some houses built on the waterways in the area. He confirmed that about 60 houses were submerged.