By Agnes Igwe
As the year’s rainy season intensifies, over 500 residents of Chukwu, Ugwuoba, Akaeze and Nawfia Streets in Abakaliki have lost their properties worth millions of naira following consistent flood in the area.
The most affected residents were those occupying the ground floor of the buildings beside the shallow canal close to Ebonyi State International Market.
The residents called for proper channeling of the water to reduce the problem they have been facing since commencement of construction of the Margret Umahi International Market.
Citizens’ Advocate reporter who visited the areas shortly after 1 hour of downpour gathered that occupants on those streets have been experiencing flooding in the area since 2008 due to the shallowness of the drainage there.
A victim, Mr. Kelechi Ezeugwu, told Citizens’ Advocate that the flood can be traced to the blockage of the drainages system and the Nwengele Stream by the contractors that handled the construction of the International Market in 2008.
Mr. Ezeugwu said, “For the past 12 years, flood has become our greatest nightmare in this area, since the regime of Chief Martin Elechi as the governor of the state. Our tenants have all left our buildings because of the constant flood.”
“We have made a lot of efforts even to the present government to come to our aid by averting this flood and from causing more damage to buildings in this area, but all our efforts have not yielded any result.”
“In the past we went to SEMA, Public Compliant Commission, Ebonyi State Ministry of Environment for assistance but all to no avail.”
Another victim, Mrs. Nonye Okorie, who also stated that the flood has caused untold hardship to the people in the area however appealed to the state government to open up the blocked channels for easy flow of water.
“There are no more valuable properties in my house these days because of this flood. Look there you will see my fridge, it has been destroyed by the flood.”
“So I’m begging the state government to come to our aid, we have written to the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Works and to State Emergency Management Agency and others for help but all to no avail”, she said.