The State Emergency Management Agency in Ebonyi has warned residents of Ebonyi living within the flood prone areas to vacate their homes ahead of the impending flood in the area.
The Acting Director of the agency, Chibueze Iteshi, gave the warning on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abakaliki.
Iteshi said that the warning became necessary because the state had yet to construct camps to accommodate those that might be affected by flooding this year.
NAN recalls that the Nigeria Meteorological Agency and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency had listed Ebonyi as one of the states that would suffer probable flooding early this year.
He therefore urged residents living around riverine areas to urgently vacate their homes in compliance with the prediction to avoid displacement when it the flood eventually occurred.
He said: “There is no adequate place for camping yet but for safety purpose, they can move to houses of family members and relatives upland.
He promised that alternative place of camping will be made for people who did not have a place to run to.
Iteshi said that the agency, in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency would soon embark on a sensitisation tour of the six Local Government Areas of the state predicted to be at the risk of flooding this year.
He said that the local governments included Ebonyi, Abakaliki, Ohaukwu, Ikwo, Ezza-North and Ohaozara.
Iteshi said: “SEMA and NEMA will have a joint sensitisation visit to enlighten stakeholders of the local governments, farmers, traders, market women, among other individuals on flood prevention.
“We have and will continue to make announcements and place jingles on radio to caution the public on the probable flood.”
The SEMA boss said that the communities involved would be cautioned during the tour on the need to vacate the flood prone areas ahead of time.
He further said that key stakeholders in the areas had been contacted to organize town hall meetings, where the community people would be enlightened on preventive measures.
Iteshi also cautioned farmers against farming in flood prone areas, adding that the state government was strategising on ways to mitigate any possible disaster.
He commended the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project in the state over its current progress to create and control flood water in the state.
He promised that the state government would come up with a permanent solution of prevention, especially in vulnerable areas.
Iteshi said that temporal relief materials, including mattresses, blankets and wrappers had been distributed to the first victims of recent fire at Nneofia Street and Hossanna Park.