On Wednesday 10th October 2012, I took a 2-hour road trip to the eastern part of Anambra State which happens to be one of the areas greatly affected by the floods in the country. The local Government Area is Otuocha. The affected communities are Umueri community and Aguleri community. These communities, although greatly affected by the flood, have camp sites for the displaced natives of Anambra, and neighbouring states such as Kogi state.
The flood has made many homeless, and also caused great loss of property and valuables. I didn’t get any information on lost lives. I had to go by canoe around the streets, which was dry land 5 days before my visit. This indicates that the flood is spreading. The markets are also very much affected, causing shift of business activities to the streets.
I was able to visit 3 camp sites;
- St Joseph Secondary School, Aguleri: had a population of over 6000 IDPs – men, women and children.
- Unity primary school, with about 2637 IDPs, mostly people from Kogi state.
- St. Augustine Catholic Church, Umuoba, population here could not be ascertained.
These camps have been open for over 2 weeks and have since been their homes. Major challenges faced in these camps were sleeping materials, cooking condiments, large cooking pots, and clothes. Although the Anambra state government, churches and individuals have been contributing immensely, more needs to be done.
Volunteer nurses also visit camp sites to carry out free medical checks, and the severely ill individuals, referred to the general hospital. Some of them have also started micro businesses on camp grounds, as a means of survival.
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