THE Chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra, Mr Arinze Awogu, has commended the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for distributing seedlings to farmers in the area.
Awogu gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Ogbaru, near Onitsha, on Friday.
NAN reports that the benefiting farmers were those whose farmlands were destroyed in the 2018 flood disaster in the area.
A total of 4,390 farmers and 7,251.72 hectares of farmlands were affected in flood incidents in seven local government areas of the state.
NAN further reports that the beneficiaries received yam, rice, maize, tomato, pepper and vegetable seedlings as well as plantain suckers and cassava stems.
“We are happy that the Federal Government decided to come to assist us in the post flood period knowing that the threat to farming is real,” Awogu said.
The chairman, however said the people of the local council area would have been happier if the seedlings got to them earlier than now.
“We feel uncomfortable that these materials are coming now because we are about getting into harvesting period; but here we are receiving farm seedlings at a time when we are beginning to harvest,” he said.
According to him, Ogbaru is a peculiar environment where farming season starts around November and ends in January.
He urged the Federal Government to take into cognisance the different farming seasons in the country in providing assistance to farmers.
“We are grateful that these seedlings came but it’s too late; any subsequent help that the Federal Government wants to provide to us should come within our planting season,” the chairman said.
Awogu said plans were already on by the state government to manage any likely flood situation that may come in 2019.
He noted that the arrangement made that assisted the 2018 flood vicitims was being activated even though the state government had not got any flood alert signal.
“The state government is on guard. As soon as it becomes obvious that near 2018 flood is happening, we will activate the process to manage the situation.
“We will get the holding centres that we used during the last flood ready to ensure that we are not caught napping,” he added.
Awogu disclosed that most of the 11, 890 internally displaced persons during the flood went back to their dilapidated homes without hope of survival.
He said this was in spite of the assistance rendered to them by the state and Federal Government.
While noting that the health challenges that the flood presented were barely addressed, the chairman urged the Federal Government to improve its assistance by catering for areas not covered in 2018.
– June 7, 2019 @ 15:55 GMT |