By Sunny A. David
Flooding from overflow of the River Niger Bank has submerged hectares of farmlands in Ogbaru Local Government Council Area of Anambra, South East Nigeria.
The Transition Chairman of Ogbaru Council Comrade Arinze Awogu told newsmen that about 150 households with no fewer than 1000 persons have been forced to leave their natural abode to upland due to steady rise of water level.
Ogbaru is a Local Government Area with all its 16 communities on the bank of River Niger making it one of the most susceptible to flooding in the State.
During the 2018 flooding, 12 persons were drowned in Ogbaru alone among other ravaging effects including destruction of property and farmlands.
He said the displaced persons have moved to join their relation on the safer side and that they have not moved into Displaced Persons Holding Camp yet.
Comrade Arinze said the produce of the people have either been washed away or written in the ground as there was no longer free access to the farms.
Chairman Awogu said those who would not bear the consequential loss have been forced into premature harvesting.
The Transition Chairman said three Holding Camps have been designated in Community Secondary School Odekpe, Local Government Secretariat Atani and St. James Anglican Church Iyiowa and that the facilities would be supplied according to the number of people who came to take refuge there.
He urged the people to move into the camps immediately and not wait until the flooding become servers.
“As I am talking to you, Ogbaru is gradually but steadily going under water, our farms have become submerged especially the root crops and more than 1,000 persons have been displaced from their homes.
“They have joined their families upland, they have refused to go to the Holding Camps, we are afraid that by next week
“You know we are riverine people, our occupation is agriculture, the farm produce of Ogbaru people and people who came to farm here are being washed away by the flood,” he said.
Chairman Awogu said the streams and water channels that emptied into River Niger had started flowing backwards and had become white, adding that that was a clear indication that the river level had risen and that the water was flowing into the communities.
He said Atani, Akili-Ozizor, Odekpe, Ohita commutites have been overwhelmingly flooded