The Federal Government has promised to commence early delivery of food and non-food relief materials to flood victims in Anambra, should the disaster occur in the state.
Air Commodore Akugbe Iyamu, Acting Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, made the promise during his tour of the flood-prone areas of the state on Saturday.
Iyamu who visited Atani, Ogbaru Local Government Area, said NEMA was ready for quick evacuation of people when the need arose and thanked the Airforce and the Army for the helicopters and kits they provided.
He said he was in the state for an on-the-spot assessment of coastal areas prone to erosion and flooding, following the series of warnings from the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency.
The acting DG said NEMA identified with the people at this time of impending flood and promised to provide minimal comfort with early intervention.
According to him, the agency has been monitoring closely the predictions of NIHSA on flood in Anambra, Kogi, Adamawa and Katsina.
He said: “So when Anambra called for assistance we have to come.
“This is time for action and not lengthy talks; the Federal Government, through the agency, will send medics, food and non food relief items to flood victims early enough.
“Our focus is how we can rescue these people; how do we support them.”
The acting DG expressed worries about the attitude of the riverine dwellers who were reluctant to relocate from the danger areas.
He noted that flooding was a global and natural phenomenon, adding that since it would not be easy to control nature, humans had to adjust to ensure their safety.
Iyamu urged the vulnerable persons to obey the early warning signal and move to upper land as they had to be alive to retain their ancestral homes.
Receiving the NEMA acting DG, the Transition Chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area, Arinzechukwu Awogu, said the people were scared of flood.
Awogu who recalled that 12 lives were lost when the disaster occurred in Ogbaru last year, thanked the NEMA boss for his visit and urged the agency to do all it could to avert a reoccurrence.
The council chairman said Ogbaru was the most flood-prone area in Anambra with its 16 communities susceptible to submerging each time there was flood.
He called for the establishment of more holding centres for displaced people and early equipping in readiness for the predicted disaster.
On his part, Prof. Peter Katchy, the Chairman of International Red Cross Society, Anambra chapter, said the body was ready for emergency intervention.
Katchy said the Red Cross was working with relevant agencies to ensure that the 28 holding centres in Anambra were fully set to receive displaced persons.
He commended NEMA for its efforts to mitigate the effect of disasters in Anambra and the country in general while urging it to do more.
Katchy presented an award of recognition by the movement in Anambra to the acting DG as Grand Commander of Humanity.
The NEMA team was accompanied by officials of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross and other collaborative agencies.