Heavy flooding has severely ravaged at least 46 communities in Abia State, killing two children, an official of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), has said.
The Head, Planning, Forecasting and Operations of the agency, Mr Sunny Jackson, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Umuahia.
Jackson said that the children drowned when flood submerged their home in Akoli Ohazu Autonomous Community in Aba South Local Government Area sometime in July.
He said that SEMA gathered that the mother of the deceased was busy trying to salvage her property when the flood surged into her house and drowned the children.
Jackson further said that the 46 affected communities cut across 13 local government areas of the state and that Aba South Local Government Area to pped the list with 11 communities.
He said that Aba North came second, followed by Obingwa, Osisioma and Ugwunagbo council areas.
“Some residents of the affected communities can no longer access their homes because their houses had been completely submerged.
He said that the situation in Abia confirmed the predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency about flooding this year.
According to him, Abia is one of the states that received alert about the impending flooding in the country this year.
“This is why I consider it a pure fallacy for anyone to say that there is no flooding in Abia.”
Jackson expressed delight that succour would soon come to the affected communities.
He said that Abia was among the 16 states slated to benefit from the N1.6 billion Federal Government Flood Intervention Fund.
The SEMA official said that the agency was committed to disaster-risk management in the state but expressed regret that the agency’s operations were adversely affected by shortage of personnel and logistics.
According to him, the agency is in dire need of equipment such as Geographical Positioning System, digital cameras, trucks and ambulances for efficient
Jackson described flooding as a natural disaster but noted that it could be escalated or checked through human actions or inactions.
“Building on flood planes and waterways, deforestation, over-grazing, improper channelling of water, blocking of drains and flood channels are capable of triggering the disaster.”
He said that to checking the disaster required re-afforestation, desilting of the drains and prohibiting the erection of structures on waterways, among other measures.
Expert Lists Benefits Of Solar Energy
The mass production of solar panels in response to the rising demand for alternative cleaner power solutions has made solar installation for homes and businesses more affordable, PPC Limited has said.
While commenting on the frequent collapse of the national power grid, the attendant blackouts and its disruption of business activities, Head of Power Division at PPC, Kelechi Onuigbo, said businesses should look into cost-effective alternative power solutions for uninterrupted power supply.
He said that even though solar panel installation and its storage systems have become more affordable, the efficiency of photovoltaic panels has not diminished in any way but improved with constant research and innovation.
It would be noted that
as part of the global decarbonisation and energy transition drive, the Nigerian government has demonstrated commitment by commissioning off-grid electricity projects that will ensure all Nigerians have uninterrupted electricity through investment in solar-powered mini-grids.
The Federal Government is also implementing different initiatives targeted at achieving at least 30,000MW generation by 2030 with 30 per cent from renewable energy sources.
Onuigbo said: “It’s important for energy access to keep pace with population growth in the country. This is why we are advocating for increased investment in off-grid alternative energy solutions that provide stable electricity in the event of natural disasters or power outages.
“The one-time investment and low maintenance of solar installations make it an affordable and preferable alternative power option for businesses and households,” he said.
“Constant electricity is key to the survival of businesses and that is why PPC is committed to supporting organizations in bridging the infrastructure gap in Nigeria’s power sector.”
According to him, rapid advances in technology and available financing facilities have encouraged manufacturers to invest in expanding their production capacity, which has lowered the cost of solar panels.
He said that solar panels can generate major utility savings for businesses that are considering reducing electricity costs, carbon emissions, or both.
PPC (formerly Philips Projects Centre) is a wholly Nigerian-owned multi-competency engineering and infrastructure development company. It is dedicated to ensuring equitable electricity access in Nigeria and has over the years invested in grid infrastructure as well as affordable renewable energy solutions.
The Dead Body At Onne Junction
On Friday 3rd of February 2023, on my way to Tai local Government Area for a news coverage,I was caught up in an offensive odour along the East West road close to Onne junction in Eleme local Government Area.
Despite attempts by passengers in our 18 seater bus to cover their nose , the odour kept coming.
Nudged by my journalistic instinct, I began asking questions.The inquiry made me to understand that the odour was coming from a decomposed body .
The dead body, according to investigation was that of a young man who died three weeks ago.
Nobody however could tell what killed him,or the identity of the deceased.
Meanwhile, going by the level of the offensive odour, and except the Eleme local Government Council and other relevant Authorities act fast, communities around the Onne axis of the East West road may experience an epidemic.
Some stakeholders have raised concern over the imminent outbreak of an epidemic around the trailer park junction of Onne.
An eye withness, who spoke with The Tide at the trailer park junction Onne,Eleme local Government Area, said the dead man has been lying there close to three weeks now.
She said nobody seems to care about the situation, stressing that even the Authorities seemed not to care.
“That body has been there for over three weeks now.
“They should come and remove it before it blows up”
Another respondent, who gave his name as Aikiru said it was very bad.
He said government should come to the area and remove the dead body before it gets worse.
“You can’t stay here especially in the night. Only God is helping us, ‘he said.
Sikiru further told the Tide that it was not the first time such incident happened, adding that many at times it was people from the area that bury them
“Sometimes mad people died here and nobody will remove their bodies.
Sometimes it those of us here that will organize ourselves to bury them”
One of the occupants of our vehicle,a middle aged woman from Ogoni urged Eleme local Government Council to do something about the situation.
The woman who spoke under anonymity said the situation might cause accident as vehicles might increased their speeds on getting to the spot not minding who is coming behind.
“The Authority should do something about this before it is too late.’
Another respondent who does business at the trailer park also complained of similar incident, stressing that it is not the first or second time it happened everyday.
“We are really dying here .Help us to tell the government to come and remove the man for burial”
He said a similar incident happened last year and it took along time before the man was buried.
As at the time of filling this report, the body was lying at the spot.
A number of motorists who spoke on the issue expressed concern over the incident and urged for urgent attention by the Authority concerned.
They the odour is even distracting their attentions.
The Eleme local Government Council and health Authorities in the area could not be reached for comments.
As noted by some respondents , the incident is not the first and not limited to the East West road.
The case of dead bodies on the road has become a thing of concern.
But at the moment Eleme local Government Council should do something about the decomposing body at Onne junction.
By: John Bibor
Reactions Trail Another Flood Predictions
Reactions have trailed the declaration by the federal government of another flooding this year
Across section of Nigerians, who spoke with the Tide on the issue regretted that another flooding is coming few months after communities were ravaged by the incident last year and are yet to recover.
They urged for urgent measures to save communities from another disaster.
National Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences (NMGS) Mr Proper Ogbunie, said both the federal and state governments should put in place mechanism to save communities from another flooding this year.
Ogbunie, who said this in a post to The Tide while reacting to the government predictions regretted that another flood is coming when communities ravaged by the incident last year are yet to recover.
He also regretted that government was yet to take measure to contain another flood incident, stressing that even the cry for the dredging of River Niger is not being heeded to.
Ogbunie also called on communities to begin to think of how to save their lives and property incase there is a flood this year.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria recently declared that there would be another flooding this year.
The Government also declared that 662 persons were killed across the country by flooding last year, while property worth millions got destroyed across the country.
The Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Ahmed, disclosed this in Abuja at the executive seminar for NEMA employees and senior members of staff selected from State Emergency Management Agencies and critical disaster management stakeholders.
Mustapha said the devastating 2022 flood disaster across the country was the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria, as about 662 persons were killed.
However, he assured Nigerians that early preparations had commenced to avoid some of the mistakes that were made in 2022 and state governors would be informed early this year about disaster-prone areas.
Ogbunie called on government to begin the process of rehabilitating communities ravaged by the incident last year.
He said if nothing is done , the sufferings of communities. will increased.
Also speaking, Secretary of Amango Youth Assembly, Mr Joshua Ngo, called on government to do something urgently about the flood situation in the country.
He said it would be too much for the people to bear if another flooding comes few months after the abatement of that of last year.
According to him, what ever the government can do to solve this problem should be done immediately.
By: John Bibor
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