Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia
After a devastating flood destroyed scores of houses in Nkporo Community in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, the people have called on the federal government to dredge Ironyi River to avert further disaster in the area.
The clarion call was made by the distraught victims when Senator Mao Ohuabunwa visited the community to assess the level of devastation and donate relief materials to the affected villages.
River Ironyi had on September 5, 2019 overflowed its bank sending a raging flood that swept through through three villages – Ukwa, Okwoko and Agbaja – all in Nkporo. It left behind a tale of large scale destruction of houses and properties valued at millions of naira.
Ohuabunwa, who went round the scenes of destruction, described it as a “sordid sight” and later addressed the victims to offer words of consolation.
He donated mattresses, bags of rice, cartons of noodles and cash to enable the affected people cushion the effects of their losses.
He said he was touched by the agonies the people were passing through and therefore decided to come to express his love and solidarity in their trying period.
The former Abia North senator called on the federal government to intervene through its agencies, namely National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and NEWMAP to put an end to the periodic flooding in Nkporo.
President General of Ukwa-Nkporo Development Union, Chief James Ndukwe, told Ohuabunwa and his entourage that 97 houses were destroyed by the flood.
He said Ironyi river overflows its bank every three years, wreaking havoc in the community, hence the need to dredge the river to prevent future flooding of the areas located along its meandering path.
Another community leader, Agu Ogba, who said that his shop was swept away by the raging flood, noted that while relief materials was good enough succor, a permanent solution to the triennial problem is dredging the river.
“We want government to come and dredge the river,” he insisted, adding that the problem had gone beyond palliatives as the people have continued to suffer huge economic losses every seasonal cycle of three years.