March 3, 2024

Flooding: NEMA deploys experts to 36 states, FCT

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Flooding: NEMA deploys experts to 36 states, FCT

Ini Billie, Uyo

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed experts to the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on early warning against floods and disasters as the rainy season sets in.

Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed said the deployment was to ensure that States take proactive and effective measures to save lives during the rainy season.

Speaking on Wednesday in Uyo during the flag-off of the downscaling of disaster early warning measures to the grassroots, Ahmed said in 2022, more than 4 million people were affected in the most devastating flood Nigeria had ever experienced.

The DG said the flood caused the death of 665 Nigerians, displaced over 2 million persons destroyed about 355,986 houses and 944,989 hectares of farmlands.

“We are here with experts from NIHSA and NiMet to support this initiative of the downscaling of disaster early warning measures to grassroots for effective live-saving early actions during the 2023 rainy season.

“We are deploying the same experts from NEMA, NiMet and NIHSA to all the states of the federation and the FCT to downscale and take the early warning message to all the relevant end users across socio-economic sectors.

“I am very confident that this initiative will enable all responsible actors to take risk-informed decisions to enable them to match early warning with early action, support disaster risk management, safeguard national food security and engender sustainable socio-economic growth in Nigeria,” he stated.

The DG who was accompanied by the Director Generals of Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Matazu and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Mr Clement Nze, mentioned that the event was flagged off in Uyo in consideration of the existing mutual support and collaboration between NEMA and the Akwa Ibom government.

He explained that certain disasters can be avoidable, transferable or adaptable if credible information is deployed, the right plans are developed, and people at the grassroots take the right decision and provide timely responses to disasters.

He urged states governments to equip and support Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) with adequate capacity building, funding and equipment to take disaster risk management to the communities that would ensure safe and resilient communities.

While speaking, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno commended NEMA for starting the initiative in a coastal state, saying the previous government did a lot on flood control.

Eno promised that his government would continue to do more on flood control and disaster management and urged stakeholders in the state not to take the initiative lightly.

Also speaking, Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Senator Akon Eyakenyi appreciated NEMA for its various interventions in the state especially the ongoing Special National Economic Livelihood emergency interventions which offer succour to victims of the last fuel disaster in the state that happened in 2022.

Eyakenyi stated that Akwa Ibom has experienced its fair share of natural disasters and cannot afford to be caught off-guard in future occurrences, and called for capacity building of stakeholders in disaster management in the state and local government areas.

She said the frequency of flood disasters calls for proactive action and solutions such as the establishment of IDP camps for flood victims in the state and the training of staff in the 31 LGAs of the state.

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