Flood has killed a nine month-old baby in Adim in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State. It was gathered that the incident occurred in the night. However, the elder brother to the baby, three year-old Jerry Echu Okon, survived the incident, though with serious injuries. Mother of the deceased, Glory Echu Okon, while narrating her ordeal said they had no idea the situation would be that bad, as according to her, the water was over 200 meters away from the village the evening before.
“It was as if I was in a grave. I could not hear anything and my limbs were numb. I only realized that my baby was dead after the rescue operation was carried out and we were pulled out of the rubbles,” she said.
Assessing the disaster, the Director-General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Vincent Aquah sympathized with victims of the disaster, particularly the family of the deceased. He said water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon displaced more than 12, 000 people in the state.
“We have a large volume of water coming in as a result of the discharge of water from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam and it is the manifestation of what we had earlier been warned against,’’ he said.
Aquah said the affected communities were located in Ikom, Yala, Ogoja, Obubra, Abi, Biase and Odukpani areas of Cross River.
He expressed regret that many communities in the state that had never experienced flooding before were submerged in recent times.
Aquah said that Cross River had the largest number of communities affected by flooding.
“The rivers are over charged, farms destroyed, property worth millions destroyed and we also recorded a number of loss of lives,’’ he said.
Aquah said there was an invasion of reptiles, including, crocodiles and snakes, in many communities.
Aquah said the floods affected a large section of agricultural communities and expressed fear that there might be a poor harvest in the 2012 farming season.
He said that the agency had received another alert that between now and November, excess water from the dam would still be discharged.
Aquah said the government would design measures to ensure that the severity of the next flooding would be reduced.
He said the seven local government areas affected in Cross River and other areas which relied on the communities for food were likely to experience famine for two years.
“In the recent past, we had an alert and warning that there is going to be flood in certain areas in Cross River as a result of discharge of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.
“We also have to sensitise our people to life saving measures and possible evacuation and to save life and property in the affected areas. We are working with surveyors so that we can convince ourselves that the recent flooding is as a result of the dam water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon, ’’ he said.