In a heart-wrenching turn of events, two young children, aged between four and seven, lost their lives in separate flood-related incidents that occurred in Nkwele Awka, located within the Awka South Local Government of Anambra State. These distressing events unfolded on a fateful Friday, casting a shadow of sorrow over the community.
According to reports, the unfortunate victims were innocently engaged in routine activities near the flood plains when tragedy struck. One of the children, a girl, met her untimely fate while carrying out a simple chore – disposing of waste near a drainage system. In an unforeseen and devastating twist, she slipped into the drainage due to the force of the floodwaters and was carried away by the relentless current.
In another heartrending incident, a young boy faced a similar fate as he attempted to retrieve his slippers that had been swept away by the forceful floodwaters. Despite his efforts to regain his footwear, he was overpowered by the surge and swept away by the powerful currents. As of now, his whereabouts remain unknown, adding to the distress and sorrow of his loved ones.
Ogechi, the mother of one of the victims, expressed her profound grief and devastation. She confirmed the tragic incidents and spoke of her ongoing anguish as she continues the painful search for her missing child, who was last seen returning from an errand. Words fail to convey the depth of her sorrow and the emotional turmoil she is currently experiencing.
A resident in the area, who gave her name simply as Ify, said, “The mother had sent one of the victims, a girl, on an errand to go and dispose of their waste when she was caught up by the flood.
“She was pouring the waste inside the drainage when one of her legs suddenly slipped, and she fell inside the drainage and was carried away by the heavy flood.
“The other, a boy, was walking along the flood plain when one of his slippers suddenly slipped away. As he was trying to retrieve it, the force of the flood swept him, and to date, he has not been found.”
While this heartrending environmental catastrophe has left a community in mourning, the local residents recount these incidents as a stark reminder of the potent force of nature. The residents, already grappling with the emotional aftermath of these incidents, hope for improved safety measures in the future. Despite the heartbreak, the community remains resilient, banding together in their shared sorrow and determination to prevent such tragedies in the future.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed that the incidents had not been reported to the police command. He categorized the events as environmental disasters, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts with relevant agencies to enhance safety measures and minimize future risks. As the community mourns the loss of these young lives, their memories serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of safeguarding against the unpredictable forces of nature.