By Alfred Agudiebube
Wailing and anguish saturated the atmosphere on Wednesday in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State as Shops and homes were submerged a rampaging flood.
Notoriously prone to flood due to terrible drainages and pathetic situation of the roads, the dangers inherent in Aba was totally exposed by the 8 hours of downpour that started on Wednesday evening.
Residents and traders counted their heavy loses which most of them described as unprecedented and too hard to forget.
When Naijawatchdog visited popular markets like the Ariaria International Market, the Eziukwu Market and Ahia-Ohuru, traders were sighted evacuating goods destroyed by rains.
Most of them described the worth of the goods destroyed to ranging in hundreds of millions.
Naijawatchdog gathered that Ahia-Ohuru traders were worst hit by the flood, especially at the line 10 where Mr. Obinna Ogugua lost 32 bales of clothes worth N90,000 each.
Oguagu pleaded with the Abia State government to help them and evacuate the blockades at the big drainage inside the market to enable flood move straight to the bigger flood channel at School Road.
He however said he does not know what to do after losing 32 bales of clothes worth over N2,000,000 to the flood on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, other traders affected by the flood were seriously busy evacuating affected goods from their shops as at the when Naijawatchdog visited other lines in the market.
The case was even worst among the residents of Ahuronye Street, Nwaogu and Mathew streets along Port Harcourt Road/Uratta Road axis and the Ohanku Road residents in the Ndiegoro area of Aba as majority of them were rendered homeless by the downpour.
Naijawatchdog reports that the cries of help to save most children in the area whose parents were not around got some good Samaritans who gathered to rescue the people.
It was learnt that an old drainage that was practically channeled to nowhere which has remained untouched for many years forced the flood onto the fences protecting their homes which caved in.
Sympathizers were said to have waded through the flood to save children who were about to be carried away by the rampaging flood
Pastor Oriaku Chisom, Senior pastor of Garden of Life Ministries at number 6 Ahuronye Street told New Telegraph that flood and its consequences has become an annual thing in the axis.
“The situation is not new. It has become an annual event, but the problem is that it do take people suddenly. What’s happening is simply a mark of neglect by our leaders.
“People will suffer and buy household equipment only to lose them to flood every year all because of carelessness of channeling drainage to no where.
“My church is here, but I packed out from this areas some years back and the problem is still there. Yesterday’s flood got to the shoulder level in some of the houses as 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 peoples home 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 anyway they can help themselves. People 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 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 driver’s 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 home. It is only God that is saving us here.”
Nze Okechukwu Egechi, the Landlord of number 17 Ahuronye Street, told New Telegraph that the experience of Wednesday flood is not new, but the damage it left was of different dimension.
According to him, the cause is the abandoned drainage that was terminated in their area, which constantly diverts all flood coming from other major roads into their street and homes.
“We have being 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,” he told Naijawatchdog.
A resident of number 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 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 an abandoned drainage that was wrongfully channeled to us some years back.
“The government has refused to do anything to save us. We only rejoice in dry season, but once it’s raining season our world come to an end.”
FROM THE TOWER OF TRUTH