By Joy Mbachi
Dep. Gov. Onyeka Ibezim of Anambra has advised the state Flood Response Committee to initiate proactive measures in the handling of its assignment, if it hoped to succeed.
Ibezim gave the advise on Saturday in a meeting with the committee members in Awka.
He underscored the need for adequate planning to avoid the loss of lives, property and farm crops, anytime the flood eventually occurred .
He described the meeting as very important to the state because of the need to plan ahead of the imminent flood attacks.
According to him, adequate planning will mitigate the negative effects of flood in the lives of residents living in flood prone areas.
The deputy governor, therefore, appealed to the committee to have a well thought out plan for proactive measures in this year’s flood management in the state.
He told the committee that it had been saddled with a huge responsibility, saying that no excuses would be tolerated for failure.
“You are to ensure that flood victims are timely evacuated, protected and provided for in their various holding camps,” he said.
He said that as a member of the Presidential Steering Committee on flood, the state committee was expected to be proactive in its activities.
“It is expected that the committee examines the level of preparedness timely and report any challenges ahead for possible solutions,” Ibezim said.
He also said that the committee was mandated to provide quality food of home standard with quality drugs at the holding centres, where the flood victims would be camped.
He advised the committee to speed up the activation of the Local Government Management Committee of the sub-committees of the group.
Ibezim said that timely inauguration of the sub-committees was important because it would help to expedite actions at the local level and put structures down before any disaster would occur.
Responding, the Chief Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency, Chief Paul Odenigbo, assured the deputy governor of the committee’s preparedness for the task ahead.
Odenigbo said that the committee was consciously following the standard workplan in its possession to achieve the desired goal.
The Commissioner for Environment, Mr Felix Odimegwu, said that the team needed to review the 2022 flood response and ensure improvement ahead of this year’s flooding.
Odimegwu promised that the team would put in place a convenient environment for people living in flood prone areas.
He further promised that the committee would provide adequate food, quality healthcare services, recreational activities and more at the holding centres.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Forster Ihejiofor, said that efforts would be made to ensure that farmers complied with government’s directives to avoid the destruction of their crops by flood.
The Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Patricia Igwebuike, described the meeting as very useful, saying that concrete plans on transportation arrangements needed to be done timely.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Anambra East Local Government Transition Committee Chairman, Mr Felix Ikechi, spoke on behalf of his counterparts in flood prone areas at the meeting.
Ikechi expressed satisfaction with the State Government’s proactive measures toward ensuring successful control of this year’s impending flood.
He gave assurance that all the chairmen in the flood prone areas would inform and educate their people on the need to move to the holding centres in time.
He said that farmers in the areas would be asked to harvest their crops before the flood to avoid the destruction of their farmlands by the flood.
It had been predicted by Nigeria Meteorological Agency that Ayamelum, Awka North, Ekwusigo, Ogbaru, Anambra West council areas would likely be affected by this year’s flood. (NAN)