Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Cross River State Government has raised the alarm that about 216,000 people in the state stood the risk of becoming internally displaced persons if the impending floods predicted in some states occur.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),earlier this month warned that many communities along the river Niger banks and those in the coastal areas could be devastated by flood from excessive rainfall and rise of water level between the months of August and October, this year.
Making the disclosure in Calabar on Thursday evening, the Director-General of the Cross River Emergency Management Agency (CR-SEMA),Mr. John Inaku, said the Agency had conducted a survey of the flood-prone communities in the state, adding that the areas cover 10 local government areas, with an estimated 216,000 people that could be displaced if the areas become flooded as predicted.
He said the local government areas include Calabar Municipality, Calabar South, Odukpani, Biase, Obubra ,Ikom, Abi, Itung, Bakassi and Yala.
“These are areas where it is obvious that, if the water level was the way it was in 2013; all of these things will now repeat itself and that will be more devastating,”Inaku said.
He said the state had made elaborate preparations to establish camps that would accommodate any displaced population should the communities be submerged by flood.
Inaku stated that aside from making plans for the establishment of temporary camps for those who would be displaced, government had finalised plans to provide permanent houses for them in the 10 local government areas that had been identified.
He disclosed that constructing the proposed housing units in areas that had already been acquired by the state government would cost between N700 to N800 million to complete.