The Abia State ministry of environment has confirmed the recent warning that some parts of the state will be pounded by heavy flooding this year.
The ministry however, heaped the blame on the poor attitude of some residents who fill the drainage systems with wastes, especially solid matters.
Speaking to journalists in Umuahia during the September 2020 environmental exercise held across the state on Saturday 26 September, the new commissioner for environment, Chief Tony Nwanmuo regretted that lives and property in the state were exposed to danger, occasioned by the ugly activities of residents, especially those in Aba and Umuahia metropolis.
The commissioner, who was represented by Mr Ikechukwu Ukaegbu, the director of pollution control and environmental health, assured that his ministry was doing everything possible to prevent the flooding calamity as forecasted by NEMA, pointing out that the state government had already appointed some contractors to de-silt the Umuahia and Aba drainages to ensure free flow of water.
“There is already flooding. We have flash flooding in several locations which ordinarily should not happen but unfortunately, the drains have been blocked by the waste poured in by citizens .The citizens fill the drainages with kitchen materials once they see that it started raining.”
The ministry of environment also charged the contracting firm handling the de-silting exercise to liaise with it during the operations, in order to achieve sound success while directing that all scooped wastes should be carted away immediately.
Meanwhile, several defaulters were arrested and prosecuted in Umuahia and Aba for flouting the environmental law, while vehicles and goods were impounded. Some of the arrested offenders were set free on health grounds, while those convicted were either fined or ordered to sweep the streets.
The exercise was also monitored by Chief Lucky Akabuike, Transition Committee Chairman of Umuahia North LGA.