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.’’