Victims of flooding in Anambra State have narrated how painful it was to watch their homes flosting on the river….

Written by on March 9, 2023

Many of the victims hit by last year’s flood are beginning to resume normal life, thanks to the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, which has located them and currently providing free healthcare services to the victims.

One of such communities is Umudi, an island on the River Niger between the commercial city of Onitsha and Asaba, the capital of Delta State.

Like other communities such as Nzam, Inoma, Aguleri Otu, Ogbeabo in Ogbaru, among others, Umudi can only be accessed by canoe.

There are no social amenities in that community and whatever they need, they ferry to Onitsha to look for it.

Their children also paddle canoe everyday to Onitsha to attend school and they pray never to have any emergency health situation as there is no place to go to in the area.

During the 2022 flood, the entire Umudi camp was submerged and all the inhabitants had to relocate to Akpaka area of Onitsha, abandoning most of their household property. When the flood receded, they returned home to start life afresh.

The good thing, however, is that UNICEF was able to locate this community and the people are among those benefiting from the free medical care being provided by the world body for all the communities affected by the 2022 flood in Anambra State.

A visit to the Akpaka Primary Health Care Centre, where UNICEF is providing free healthcare services, showed that many residents of Umudi were among those receiving treatment under the guidance of Dr. Obianuju Okoye of the Anambra State Ministry of Health.

Mr. Chukwuemeka Okafor, a resident of Umudi, said he came for the healthcare service when he heard that UNICEF was providing it free of charge.

Narrating his experience during the 2022 flood, Okafor said: “The entire Umudi and all the houses were submerged and we used canoe to ferry to Akpaka in Onitsha, where we lived for two months.

“When we returned after the flood, some people managed to build new houses, while those who could not afford it are still squatting with other people. Some people even used polythene to construct places they lay their heads with their families up till now.”

Another resident of the community, Patrick Okonkwo, who hailed from Umueze Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area said that but for the free medical treatment, he could not have attended any hospital because of lack of funds.

Dr. Okoye, who is the state Reproductive Health Coordinator said UNICEF trained 560 health workers drawn from the 10 local government areas affected by the flood for the programme.

The affected local government areas, she said, are Awka North, Anambra East, Anambra West, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Ayamelum, Ekwusigo, Ihiala, Idemili North and Idemili South.

According to Okoye, the health workers were trained on how to identify maternal danger signs for pregnant women and how to deliver life babies and save the life of their mothers.

They were also trained on community-based after-birth care for the various communities.

The trainees, she further said, were drawn from the local government reproductive health supervisors, the social mobilization officers, the local government logistic management officers, as well as key workers in the health facilities being used for the programme.

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