THE Anambra State Government has commenced desilting of drainages in parts of Ogbaru Local Government Area, near Onitsha, in its effort at tackling the menacing flood in the area.
The Transition Chairman of local government area, Mr Arinze Awogu, Monday, told reporters in Atani, the local government headquarters that not less than 100 persons, who were displaced by the floods, were taking refuge at the Atani Holding Camp, inside the secretariat.0
Awogu said blocked drainages exacerbated the flood in Ogbaru, which was natural flood prone.
He said the cleanup, which was being spearheaded by the newly created Anambra State Drainage and Forest Preservation Agency, would go a long way to opening the drains and lead flood water to natural waterways.
According to him, the Obodoukwu Road drainage channel that connects from Onitsha-Owerri Road to Elevant-House, Ojoto Street and Atani were the areas that witnessed the state government led massive cleanup.
“The clean-up is coming at a time when the council needed to open up blocked water channels so as to reduce the effect of the flood ravaging the council at the moment.
“We thank the state governor, Willie Obiano for tackling the issues of blocked drainages as most of the roads had failed because the floods couldn’t find the channels, which were blocked surged through the open roads,” he said.
Awogu, who said that a number of families had been displaced from their homes due to flood, said some of the blocked drains had not been cleaned for more than 10 years.
He called on residents of Ogbaru, especially the flood exposed areas to stop dumping refuse in drains and engage in periodic clean up exercise to make the flood paths free.
He called “on the people to adopt acceptable ways of disposing waste because the era of dumping wastes into water channels was over.”
Chief Augustine Uyanne, a resident of the area said that some of the drainages had been blocked with sand for a long time that whenever it rained, the water found its way to their homes.
According to him, the drainage “has been covered totally with sand to the point that we no longer remember that that is a drainage channel.”
The Managing Director of Anambra State Drainage and Forest Preservation Agency, Chief Chido Obidiegwu, said that the Obiano administration was fully committed to addressing environmental challenges in the state.
He noted that, “the Agency will leave no stone unturned in its determination to make Anambra clean.
“We want to assure that the Agency will ensure that drainages are no longer blocked and the only way to ensure that drainages are not blocked is to stop anybody that wants to dispose waste the wrong way.”