Senate seeks urgent intervention to tackle flooding in Abia-North communities

From Lateef Taiwo

The Senate on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to urgently tackle the menace of flood bedeviling communities in Abia-North Senatorial District which has cut short lives , destroyed properties, public and private infrastructures.

Lamenting the floods attendant hardships and level of destruction , the Lawmakers also asked the Federal Ministries of Housing & Urban Development and Power to rehabilitate some of the collapsed homes, roads and electric installations within the affected areas.

The resolutions were reached following a motion brought to the plenary by the Senator representing Abia North, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

Another resolution of the Senators was a call on the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Poverty Alleviation and National Emergency Management Agency to urgently make emergency provision available to cushion the effects on victims of the affected communities in Abia North Senatorial District,

They also urged the Federal Ministries of Housing & Urban Development and Power to rehabilitate some of the collapsed homes, roads and electric installations within the affected areas.

To ascertain the extent of damages on erosion Sites, the Senators further implored the Ecological Fund Department of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Environment and Ecological Management to urgently provide some measures of rebuilding the areas damaged by the natural disaster.

In his lead debate the former Governor named the affected areas as ; like Igbere, Item, Eziukwu Road which was divided into 2 parts, Eze River, Nkporo Umuhu, Abriba, Okonu, Abam Ihechiowa and other adjoining communities all in Bende, Ohafia and Arochukwu Local Government Areas.

According to the former Abia Governor flood the perennial downpour in some communities of the Senatorial District has caused severe damages to the affected communities.

Kalu explained the level of damage caused by the floods;
“The ugly occurrence which came with lightning and thunder was so severe and devastating that some precious lives were lost in the flood, critical connecting roads were completely cut off making movement between communities impossible, farmlands were washed away and destroyed with attendant losses of crops and livestock amounting to several millions of naira.

“Some houses lost their roofs while others with weak foundations collapsed and occupants displaced alongside with their helpless families.

“Worst hit were Okoko-Item Primary School, Okposi Primary School, a radio station, a university structure and many other houses in Bende LGA.

Kalu’s motion received the support of Senators Austin Akobundu ( Abia Central ); Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South); Osita Izunaso ( Imo West ); Senator Benson Konbowei ( Bayelsa Central) and majority of other Lawmakers.

Konbowei expressed worry about the willingness of the executive to act on the motion passed by the Senators, he urged the Senate leadership to ensure that resolutions passed by the Senators are implemented by the Federal Government.

“My worry is after the resolutions what will happen next? Because if the Executive doesn’t act on the motion we will just be talking. With the renewed hope things should be done better, the people are asking me what shall we do? Are we prepared to respond to the needs of our people who are suffering? He asked.

At the end of the robust contributions the Senators granted the prayers of the motion after it was put into question by the Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin who presided over the plenary.

The Senators further directed the Senate Committees on Legislative Compliance and Environment to ensure compliance and report back to the Senate within four weeks.

The Senators also granted an additional prayer added by Senator Osita Izunaso which urged the Federal government to tackle flooding in Ideato North, South and Orlu LGAs of Imo State.


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