Umuahia - The Abia State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said on Wednesday that it spent more than N530 million on relief materials for flood victims in the state.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Ada Achi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia that out of the 53 communities affected, 40 benefited from the relief materials.
Achi said though the distribution of materials began in November 2012 and ended in February, plans were underway to extend similar gesture to the remaining 13 communities.
She explained that an average of 39 121 persons in 8 409 households in 14 local government areas, including 19 000 hectares of farmlands, were affected by flood.
Achi said that the state government had already rolled out relief measures for the affected communities ``before the Federal Government’s intervention''.
She said that in view of the predictions by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on flood this year, the state government had initiated measures to ‘’mitigate’’ the flood.
Achi said tSEMAhat the agency was collaborating with other relevant agencies and stakeholders in disaster management to design proactive measures against the disaster this year.
She explained further that government had also initiated steps to reduce the impact of the impending disaster, especially in the flood-prone areas of the state.
She said that government also carried out the de-silting of the Okpulu-Umuobo River and Ifeobara pond in Aba to ensure the free flow of water from the city to Aba River.
Achi said that the Ministry of Environment had also started the de-silting of drains in Aba and Umuahia, the state capital, as part of the measures to check flooding in the two cities.
She advised people living in flood-prone areas to relocate temporarily during the rainy season to avert loss of lives and valuables.
Achi further enjoined the people to be sensitive to their environment and also rid the gutters of objects that could obstruct the free flow of rain water.