The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned parents against allowing their children to play in the rain, especially in flood prone areas.
Mr Fred Anusim, the Co-ordinator of NEMA, South-East zone, issued the warning during Early Warning sensitisation tour of Otuocha, Anambra East Local Government Area (LGA) and Umueze Anam, Anambra West LGA on Tuesday.
Anusim said the warning was necessary because flood waters could carry dangerous reptiles, such as snakes, scorpions and ants, among others.
He said the warning was also imperative, especially now that children were on holidays and usually tempted to play in flood waters during the rains.
He said: “The prediction from Metrological Agency and Hydrological Service Agency is that the country will experience flooding from September, the water level is high and the reptiles are already out.
“Each time it rains and there is flooding, especially in the coastal communities, these reptiles move with the flood and you might be attacked if you move in these waters.’’
Another NEMA official, Mr Kennedy Ekeh, also advised participants to adopt proactive measures to prevent loss of lives in the event of flood in their communities.
Ekeh said once the coastal areas got wet with intense rain, people should pack their essential documents in potable bags and relocate to safety.
He said that it was better one safeguarded his life rather than struggle to secure his property and die in the process.
Mr Emeka Obinwa, Executive Assistant to Gov. Willie Obiano on SEMA and Media, said the state government had prepared holding centres, where displaced persons would take refuge.
“Life is worth more than property. The moment you notice that your area is getting flooded, pick the small bag in which you put your essentials and relocate to safety immediately,” Obinwa said.
He said that the state had set up holding centres at Fr. Joseph’s Memorial School, Aguleri; Premier Primary School, Umueri; General Hospital, Umueri; St. Augustine Umuoba; Council Secretariat, Otuocha and Unity Primary School, Umuoba.
He said that government would provide basic needs at the centres to ensure that displaced persons were taken care for the period of the flood.