No fewer than 20 people have been declared missing while more than 100 buildings and vehicles were destroyed yesterday by flood which ravaged Oduke, Ibollo and Owelleaja layouts in Obosi, near Onitsha, Anambra State.
Oduke and Ibollo residents have been suffering the devastating effect of severe flooding which they say was caused by the wrong channelling of drainage by a construction company that rehabilitated Ezeiweka road, Awada Obosi in the past leading to a surge of heavy floods into their area.
On Thursday evening, torrential rainfall that lasted for about two hours left the entire area flooded leading to several damages even as parents have been searching frantically for their missing children swept away in the flood.
When the area was visited yesterday, women and children wept profusely while men engaged in rescue operations. Some nursing mothers, whose little babies were later rescued from the flood, were also seen clutching the babies after receiving medical attention from the hospital.
Angry residents of Oduke layout had earlier blocked the busy Ezeiweka Obosi road that connects travellers to the Onitsha- Owerri highway chanting war songs while vehicular movements were stalled for several hours.
The protesters said they voted massively for Chief Willie Obiano during the last governorship election that made him governor and called on him to visit their area for an on-the-spot assessment of their problems with a view to addressing them urgently before they all perish.
Among the properties damaged in the flood included two four-storey buildings still under construction at Owelle Aja while several residential buildings, fences, schools, churches and vehicles at Oduke and Ibollo were either submerged completely or pulled down by the rampaging flood.
Addresing reporters after taking them round the submerged and damaged properties, Chairman of Oduke Landlords Association, Nicholas Okechukwu and his Ibollo counterpart, Chimezie Osuchukwu, in their separate speeches, said that they have been crying out to the Anambra State government to come to their aid since 2013 till now but all to no avail.
They lamented that the problem of the area is man-made disaster and tragedy foretold while they have spent all within their resources to handle the situation but help has not come from any outside quarter.
They lamented that that about 10 people have died from the disaster since the problem started while they have suffered untold hardship and economic losses over the incident.
Putting the estimated loss of properties from the current incident to about N2 billion, they called on the Anambra State government to declare a state of emergency in the layout and address the problem holistically.
Also at the International Electronics Market, Onitsha about 1500 shops and goods worth over N800m were also damaged by flood.
According to the president of the market, Mr. Izuchukwu Okoye, the flood came into the market when the volume could not be contained by the drainages along the Onitsha/Asaba expressway.
“Goods damaged were mainly from A and B lines and we appeal to the state government to come to our rescue”, Okoye stated.
Contributing, the Secretary of the market, Comrade Damian Ogudike said: “We pay our taxes and levies to the state government. The drainages are the problems and the expectation is that the state government should work on the drainages to be higher than they are now”.
“You can see the traders insisting that the money they paid to the government should be refunded to them since their problems in the market are not being solved”, the secretary revealed.