A 13-year-old girl whose name is yet-to-be identified has reportedly escaped death by the whiskers in Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia State after unannounced Wednesday torrential rain caused havoc to homes and shops of residents of the city.
This is another set of family members narrowly escaped death as number of Good Samaritans came to their rescue, after the fence of their building caved in, allowing flood into their home.
The rainfall which lasted for uninterrupted 4 hours took the residents and shop owners unawares as the majority of them were trapped in their shops and other parts of the commercial town.
According to findings, many residents were forced to trek home as there were limited vehicles on the road after the rain.
Though findings have it that traders in major markets of Ariaria, Cemetery among others lost goods worth thousands of cash, traders at Ahia-Ohuru traders were said to be the worst hit especially in line 10 where one Mr. Obinna Ogugua reportedly lost 32 bales of clothes worth N90, 000 each.
Other traders in the same line and adjoining lines who were also affected by the flood couldn’t speak to our reporter but were seen evacuating submerged goods from their shops.
This is even as the area was still submerged at the time of our reporter’s visit on Thursday.
Sources at Ariaria International Market told our reporter that many shop owners were affected, but the most affected were drug dealers.
Some residents of Ahuronye Street, Nwaogu, Mathew in the Obuda/Eziukwu and Ohanku Roads respectively in Ndiegoro of Aba South Local Government Area respectively were seen in their numbers counting the loss that they suffered as a result of the rain.
They said that the rain has rendered them homeless with their properties soaked with others who said that they were in the market when the rain started and could not go home to save their properties from being submerged in the flood, claimed that they lost cash worth several thousand.
It was learned that except for the timely assistance of some good Samaritans who came to the aid of some children in a compound after the water forced their fence to cave in, there could have been loss of lives.
According to Nze Okechukwu Egechi, the Landlord of number 17 Ahuronye Street the experience of Wednesday flood is not new, but the damage it left was of a different dimension.
He attributed the loss to abandoned drainage that terminated in their area where water from the area is diverted to, causing homes in the area to be submerged when heavy rain fall.
“We ave been crying for many years now. I was around yesterday when the rain started, but when I got to my area, I couldn’t enter my house as everywhere was submerged by flood.
“It’s so bad that we have people representing us who don’t even know us. They don’t adhere to our calls. I didn’t bring out anything from my house.
“My children and the entire tenants in my house picked merely their clothes and moved out when the rain was getting heavier and I nearly lost my 13 years old daughter to that flood. She was the last to leave the house as I was told but suddenly fell into the flood.
“I know it was only God who saved her. She’s not here now because most of them are taking refuge elsewhere, but she actually swam the flood by grace of God and was rescued out by people.”
A resident of No.15 Ahuronye Street, Mr. Alex Kewell while narrating his ordeal said, “It was around 6pm on Wednesday the flood broke our fence, took over the entire building and made a mess of everything valuable.
“As I speak to you now, we are homeless and stranded. The rain started around 4pm and the flood submerged the entire building in our street and neighborhood around 6pm.
“The whole problem is coming from abandoned drainage that was wrongfully channeled to us some years back, but the government has refused to do anything to save us. We only rejoice in the dry season, but once it’s raining season our world comes to an end.”
A cleric, Pastor Oriaku Chisom, Senior pastor of Garden of Life Ministries said “The situation is not new. It has become an annual event, but the problem is that it took people unawares. What’s happening is simply an act of neglect by our leaders.
“People will suffer and buy household equipment only to lose them to flood every year all because of the carelessness of channelling of the drainage to nowhere.
“My church is here, but I packed out from this area some years back and the problem is still there. Yesterday’s flood got to the shoulder level in some of the houses at 7pm.
“We have cried, we have wept, we have begged, but it seems as if we are not humans. The most annoying part of all these is that the problem is known by all and sundry.
“The whole flood coming from Omuma Road and Cemetery Road were channeled into people’s homes towards this Uratta axis although not by this administration.
“Now, a contract has been awarded by the Federal Government through the ecological fund which has to do with this problem, but they just came here, reopened that old abandoned drainage that was channeled to nowhere and then dropped it.
“Children are hanging around in neighborhood because parents are busy trying to see if there’s any way they can help themselves. People are living like refugees in their own state.
“We are calling on everyone in leadership from Councilors, LGA Chairmen, State Legislators, Federal Lawmakers, and the governor, to help and save lives here.”
A resident of Ohanku Road in the Ndiegoro axis of Aba, Mr. Cyril Eze said that the pressure of the warning signal of the Wednesday rain forced him to pay N500 transport fare to his home which ordinarily is N100.
“I hurriedly went home early, but it caught me on the way and drivers took advantage of the situation to demand N500 for my home which ought to be N100. It was painful to see how flood ravaged peoples’ homes. It is only God that is saving us here.”
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They appealed to the State Governor (Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu),