Three children had drowned, while two others were declared missing in a devastating flood following three days of downpour that wrecked havoc at Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
No fewer than 10 buildings were also damaged in the area, which is a suburb of Onitsha, while properties worth over N100 million were lost.
A resident of the area, Mr. Christian Aguchi said yesterday that the two missing kids had not been seen by their parents as their homes were among the buildings that were swept away by the flood.
Ogboko community, overlooking the River Niger, had over the years recorded casualties whenever there was down pour, even with the massive drainage constructed by the state government in the area.
According to Aguchi, “Since the rainy season started, there had been one problem after another in Ogboko. Many buildings had collapsed and hoodlums have been taking advantage of the situation to loot people’s houses.
“The three children drowned in the flood when it flowed into their residences. As we speak, two other children have not been seen by their parents. Even now that the rain has subsided, there are still floods flowing on some streets and one wonders where they are coming from.”
While urging the state government to come to the rescue of the community, Aguchi said the major roads in the area needed immediate rehabilitation to save the people from the frequent flood menace.
In the meantime, the State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Marcel Ifejiofor, has warned against indiscriminate dumping of refuse on drainage channels, which he said, was the only way to prevent road failures and flooding.
He said that the state government had stepped up campaign against illegal dumping of refuse, vowing to bring the full weight of the law on defaulters.
“Residents must safe guard the roads and not be part of the problem because it costs the state a lot of money constructing these roads and it is improper for people to block the drainages with refuse,” the commissioner stressed.
Another resident of the area, Mr. Ikechukwu Okoye, said the area had become dangerous as lives were always lost during rainy seasons.
He said: “We suffer two major things here, which are flood men ace and armed robbery and unless the state government comes to our rescue, we will continue to live in danger.”.