By Chinyere Nwoye

Nnewi, March 16, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has carried out an assessment survey to ascertain the extent of damages to the Nnewi Timber Market fire disaster.

The exercise, which was carried out at the scene of the incident at Nnewi, was to aid the SEMA team in reporting the situation to both state and Federal Government.

SEMA, Executive Secretary, Chief Paul Odenigbo, who was represented by a Planning Officer in the Agency, Mr Thomas Mark Onugbolu noted that the visit was to enable the Agency to acquire first hand information concerning the inferno.

“This will enable us to access the situation of things on ground and report back to government.’’

He assured victims of the incident that their report would also get to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), so as to get them the necessary assistance from the FG.

The SEMA boss, however, encouraged traders to embrace insurance policies, which would come in handy in times of disaster.

“We pray that such incident will not happen again and at the same time thank God that no life was lost in the incident.’’

Chairman, Nnewi Timber Dealers Association, Mr Chukwunonso Nnetu, while noting that the state fire service team deployed their professionalism in arresting the inferno, expressed gratitude to the state government.

Emphasising on traders who lost goods worth millions of naira and have no other means of livelihood now, Mr Nnetu called on the state Government to come to their rescue.

“Some people have now become poorer due to this incident; this is the reason we are pleading for government’s assistance,’’ Mr Nnetu lamented.

One of the victims, Mr Norbert Elixir, while expressing sadness over the incident noted his shop was affected by the fire incident causing him to lose goods worth N2.8 million.

“I am a businessman and I do not have who to run to. I am pleading with the state government for assistance because I am not the only one affected by the incident,’’ he said.

Mr Godwin Okenyi, who was also a victim of the incident, noted that he inherited his business from his father on graduation from school, but had now lost everything to the fire.

“I know this is an incident that can happen at any time and to anyone. My machines for cutting woods and all my woods worth N20 million were all consumed by the fire. “We are pleading that the government hears our cry for help and assists us because we don’t know how we can recover from this,’’ he said.  (MOI)

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