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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Disaster @ Urum Community, 45 houses destroyed, 126 homeless

Odogwu Obinna/NaijaAgroNet

Over 45 houses have been destroyed by torrential storm leaving about 126 persons displaced in a natural disaster that swept through Umuife village in Urum Community, Awka-North Local Government Area of Anambra State. 

Correspondent reports that many houses, businesses, government facilities including poles and cables belonging to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) were affected by the storm, with some residents sustaining injuries.

A community leader  and Financial Secretary, Umuife Progressive Union, Mr. Obiesili Amaechi Cosmas, told NaijaAgroNet that their houses, farms and economic trees were swept away during the storm, lamenting that the community has never witnessed such a calamity since history.

“I have never witnessed this kind of thing ever since I was born or heard it ever happened. As you can see, this disaster swept through the entire village. Many houses, business centers, PHCN facilities, farms were destroyed,” he recounted, declaring that many people have been rendered homeless.

“Can’t you see people crying for help? My own house was adversely affected,” he lamented, stressing that the community team has begun reaching out to relevant bodies including government agencies and spirited organisations.

“As for now, we have begun making contacts with the relevant bodies and agencies to come to our rescue as this is beyond community capacity to handle. We have just contacted the State Emergency Management Agency; our representative in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Rebecca Udorji; Caretaker Committee Chairperson for Awka-North, Mrs Joy Eweluzo, and others. We just hope they will come to our rescue soonest” Obiesili said.

Also speaking, another community leader, Mr. Chika Nath Arinze, said it baffles him so much owing to the level of destruction recorded in the calamity, just as he urged government and other good spirited individuals to come to their aid.

“… As I’m talking to you now, the affected people have no place to lay down their heads tonight. We are honestly looking forward to hearing from the government and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency),” Arinze solicited.

One of the victims, Mrs. Blessing Anaekwe, said amidst tears that she nearly lost her only child to the storm, when her house was hit by the storm.

“What happened to me was disastrous. It nearly killed my only child. It began as a light rain shower, then the storm. We thought we are the only victim until we started hearing people wailing on top of their voices. We are calling on the government to come to our rescue as we are now homeless and hopeless,” Mrs. Anaekwe appealed.

Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Nwabufo Ijezie told correspondent that his office would immediately conduct an assessment to know the extent of damage.

“Well I just got the information and the pictures of the disaster. We will do an assessment and see what has happened. If it is beyond what the capability of what the state can respond or handle, we seek external support,” he said, declaring “There are no relief materials for now because we have not done the assessment to ascertain the level of disaster in the area,” assuring swift action to support victims.

Odogwu Obinna/NaijaAgroNet

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