The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has cautioned the government and people of Abia State of a looming flooding in parts of the state before the end of the year, advising that the disaster must be prevented.
NEMA gave the warning on Wednesday in Umuahia through Mr Umar Abdulaziz, team leader for Imo/Abia States who visited the governor.
The federal agency urged the Abia State Government to immediately set up a machinery, in liaison with the State Emergency Management Agency and other stakeholders to prevent the danger, as well as mitigate impact of the flooding, where ever it may occur.
NEMA named Umunneochi LGA as the place that may be worst hit, adding that communities in Isiala Ngwa North, Osisioma Ngwa, Obingwa, Umuahia North, Umuahia South, Ukwa West and Ukwa East LGAs are also on danger list.
They equally advised the governor to stock a warehouse of foods, drugs and other home essentials and to prepare a ground where internally displaced persons would be kept, while advising that the warning must be taken seriously.
“We are here on a specific mission to deliver the early warning message as directed by the NEMA Director General, AVM, Muhammad Muhammad for your government to take swift action against impending flooding,” Abdulaziz warned.
The delegation went on to recommend intense sensitisation of people in rural areas, especially the areas where the flooding is expected to take place.
Reacting to the flood warning, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, represented by the secretary to his government, Barr Chris Ezem, stated that his government was doing everything possible to protect the lives of Abians, while acknowledging that some areas of the State are under the threat of flooding.
Meanwhile when News Echo visited the office of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), besides Federal Medical Center (FMC), Umuahia, no staff of the agency was seen on duty. It was gathered that the secretariat was locked by staff of Hospital Management Board who share the same compound with SEMA.
Phone calls and text messages put across to Mr Sunny Jackson, the executive Secretary of Abia SEMA to get his response was not answered, nor replied.