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NEMA warns against building on waterways

The National Emergency Management Agency, Nema has cautioned against building structures on waterways.

This is to avoid flood disaster occasioned by indiscriminate construction of buildings along water channels.

The Zonal Coordinator, NEMA south east zone, Enugu ,  Mr. Fred Anusim made the call while addressing stakeholders from riverside communities in Anambra East and West Local Government areas of Anambra state.

Anambra East and West are part of the local government areas in Anambra state  are flood prone due to their  proximity to river Niger, omambala and other rivers in the areas.

According to the NEMA Coordinator, Mr Fred Anusim, made it imperative for the agency to collaborate with the state Emergency Management Agency, in order to sensitize residents on the need to avoid any activity that would contribute to flood disaster.

Mr Anusim identified lack of adherence to building codes as some of the factors responsible for flood incidents across the country.

The Executive Secretary of SEMA, Chief Paul Odenigbo called on the people who are predominantly farmers to relocate to higher grounds once the rivers begin to overflow their banks.

Represented by the Executive Assistant to the Governor on SEMA, Media, Mr Emeka Obinwa, Chief Odenigbo said Government had designated holding camps  in various locations within the areas with a promise that they would be adequately taken care of in the event of flood disaster.

One of the residents,  Mrs Esther Emelifefrom Anambra East Local Government area called on government agencies responsible for physical planning to be up to their responsibilities by ensuring that developers don’t erect structures on waterways.

The Chairman of Anambra west Local Government area , Chief Orji Okafor and the President General Ukwala community, Mr Domnic Nnazor, While, commending government for the early warning sensitization , but appealed for the dredging of the River  Niger and speedy completion of the holding camp being built by the federal government at  Nzam.

Other respondents appealed to government to provide the people of  the area with boats that would assist them to evacuate some of their belongings when the flood begins.

Uche  Ndeke

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