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Flood prediction: SEMA wants Cross River communities relocated

02 June 2013, 16:26

Calabar - Vincent Aquah, the Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Cross River has called for relocation of some communities in the state.

Aquah, who particularly identified Eja in Obubra Local Government Area and Agwagune in Biase as communities that must be immediately relocated, said that the measure was necessary, ahead of NIMET’s prediction of heavy flooding in flood-prone states in 2013.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Calabar that "these communities will be totally wiped out if the predicted flooding in 2013 occur’’.

He said that if nothing was urgently done to provide buffer in some areas, most communities in Cross River would be permanently dislocated by fresh flooding.

The director-general noted that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s (NIMET) forecast of flooding this year in states, including Cross River, had posed serious concerns to SEMA, adding that the agency might lack the capacity to deal with the imminent disaster.

The SEMA boss recalled that Cross River was one of the states in the country that suffered harsh consequences of the 2012 flood disaster, noting that more than 49 000 people were displaced by the flood.

He said that 212 communities, 1 800 houses and 82 361 farms were destroyed by the flood, adding that 13 lives were lost, 34 persons suffered severe injuries, while 18 markets, 15 churches and 13 schools were also destroyed.

The director general said that Agwagune community lost about 90 per cent of its habitable land to the flood, stressing that "if NIMET’s prediction is anything to go by, Agwagune may be completely wiped out. The people require quick relocation.’’



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