National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has sought synergy with relevant stakeholders in stemming the disaster risk in flood prone areas across the country.
Speaking at a National Consultative Workshop convened to discuss about 2021 flood preparedness, mitigation and response in Abuja yesterday the Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, stated that there was need for joint strategic efforts towards stemming the tide of flood disasters in the country.
He noted that the rainy season is most times a recipe for disaster in flood prone areas hence the call for stringent measures aimed at strengthening community resilience to flood in the country and effective response to flood, to save lives, destruction of properties .
He said “as part of our collective responsibilities Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) need to always come together with the view to plan for effective response to flood, to save lives, destruction of properties and infrastructures. “
“Hence NEMA will continue to count on the continuous cooperation and collaboration of all its stakeholders in collectively working towards saving lives, properties and attending to the distressed in our society,” he said.
Bringing the statistics to fore, the DG revealed the efforts of the agency in monitoring the situation in flood prone areas and activate Emergency Operations Centres in the affected areas for search and rescue as well as conduct assessment to support the displaced persons.
“There have been reported cases of flooding in 210 Local Government Areas in 32 States and Federal Capital Territory with attendant loss of lives, livelihoods and properties.
“Thus there is apparent need to define an effective process that will allow stakeholders at State, Local Government and community levels to prepare sufficiently to mitigate as well as respond to anticipated climate risk and secondary hazards whenever the need arises.”
Also speaking at the workshop the Director-General NiMet, Mansur Bako Matazu stated that the workshop was expedient and pertinent to enhance joint collaboration towards reducing flood disasters in the country, He opined that all tiers of governments had a big role to play in making the strategies put in place effective and taking cursory measures to reduce disaster risk across the country.
He said ” Curbing flood disasters can be done if all tiers of government contribute their quota towards taking proactive measures to avoid flood disasters. In this vein , therefore it would not be asking too much if the federal government through the federal ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development , State and local government allocate one percent of their annual budgets towards enhancing the development and deployment of these early warning tool and their implications on socio -economic activities and disaster risk reduction across the country”.
Earlier, the Director of Planning Research and Forecasting of NEMA Alhaji Alhassan Nuhu said the workshop was a continuation of the Agency’s planned activities since the release of the 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Service Agency and the Annual Flood Outlook by the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency.
Participants at the workshop were Executive Secretaries of all the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), representatives of Centres for Disaster Risk Management Studies from six universities and Heads of NEMA zonal, Territorial and Operations Offices.