By Naomi Sharang and Kingsley Okoye
Sen. Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra), has appealed to the Federal Government to provide substantial funding to mitigate the perennial floods ravaging parts of Anambra North Senatorial District.
Oduah, who represents the district, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
She said some of the communities affected by floods with buildings submerged include Ogbaru, Anyamelum East, Anambra East and West and Oyi local government areas of the state.
She said that provision of substantial fund to the affected communities would assist in the provision of the needed infrastructure to mitigate the perennial flood in the district.
“My honest prayer is that government will come to our rescue; that government will at least give us substantial amount of money to be able to put in the dams; to be able to put on the fortified walls; to be able to rescue our communities, our farms.
“In case some people don’t know, Anambra North is the food basket of the East, and so, when you cut it off, the farmer loses his crops, loses the incentive to farm.
“And so you end up having horrible situation where you can not find food after the flood.”
Oduah also a former Minister of Aviation said that her concern since childhood had always been how the recurring flood could be mitigated.
“As I speak to you I can not go to my house except if I paddle a canoe, that is really unfair.
“But it is no body’s fault, it is our lives, it is how the topography of the land is.
“Even the Bible says Man should conquer its environment and I believe we can conquer our environment, if we put in these infrastructure.
“The dams, the retaining walls and all that the Engineers are recommending we should put in place.”
She said some countries in other climes with similar topography were able to conquer their environment because the right infrastructure were provided.
“If you visit places like Netherlands and other countries around the globe that have similar topography, you will see that they have been able to conquer their environment.
“And in conquering their environment, they were able to put several things in place.
“With that, minimising the damage of flood becomes something that is a welcome development.
“And so for us in Anambra North and indeed all the communities that experience the havoc of flood, it is for me, something that we should all work together to make sure that we put it in place.
“And some of them are simple by having the drains in place where it ought to be, putting fortified walls that will deter the water from the force it uses in coming in and to have dams and the dams will take on the water.”
According to her, she has written to the Ecological Fund office, Ministry of Environment, and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on the flood situation in the zone.
She said that the authorities responded and had also sent their engineers to come and investigate the flood situation in the areas.
“But prior to that, 2012, when we had one of the worst flood, there was United Nations study on how to mitigate the havoc of flood.
“That study was done, but nothing was done with the outcome of the study.
“And so I presented it back to Ministry of Environment and so when they sent their engineers, and their engineers revisited all the issues and then this recommendation and again we are back to the implementation stage.
“And often you know what happens, it is a question of funding.” (NAN)