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Monday, December 4, 2023

Senate raises concern about south-east states capacity to handle flooding

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The Senate, on Thursday, raised concern over the continuous loss of lives and property occasioned by gullies and floodwaters.

It urged the National Emergency Management Agency to urgently implement a community-resettlement plan to relocate residents from high-risk areas.

The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Senator Osita Izunaso from Imo West.

The motion is titled, “Urgent need to carry out remedial work on Obodoukwu, Urualla, Akokwa, Umumaisiaku, Umuchima and Umueshi Gully Erosion sites in Ideato North and Ideato South LGs of Imo State.”

Izunaso noted that gullies and floodwaters have become treacherous, leading to the loss of human lives, and property worth over N4bn naira and inflicted severe injuries.

He said, “Twelve communities in Ideato North and Ideato South LGs of Imo State were affected by gullies and floodwaters, which he said were beyond the powers of Imo State government.

“I, therefore, called on the Federal Government to urgently undertake remedial work to mitigate the risks and prevent further loss of lives, property and environmental degradation in the affected areas.”

“By taking immediate action and working together, we can protect lives, preserve our community’s wellbeing, and build a safer and more resilient future,” Izunaso said.

The Senate, accordingly, urged the Ecological Fund Office and NEMA to jointly and urgently engage relevant experts to conduct the assessment and implement measures, such as slope stabilisation, gabion installations, terracing, re-vegetation, and construction of retaining walls to prevent further losses and minimise the risks to nearby infrastructure, communities, LGs, and states.

It also called on CFO and NEMA to establish community-based initiatives to enhance resilience, such as emergency response teams, evacuation plans, and the formation of local task forces focused on disaster management; outlining the achieved milestones, challenges encountered, and strategies for future actions.

In his submission, the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, noted that the petition would be reverted to the Committee on Ethics, public complainants and Human Rights when constituted.

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