Stakeholders from the North East have expressed readiness to tackle flooding and proffered strategic solutions towards mitigating flooding now and in the future.
Dr Abubakar Gabarin, Head of Operations, Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency (BASEMA), said the agency had made reservation of relief materials and trained staff on emergency preparedness and response.
Gabarin said BASEMA had also updated its contingency plans for the 2021 flood season.
“To prepare for the 2021 flood season, we developed cross functional competences and capabilities training of staff on a range of emergencies.
“This includes emergency preparedness and response plan on how to minimise amount of time and efforts in response to threat, by providing intelligence and accurate information.
“It also embraces coordination and collaboration with partners to proffer solutions on recurrence of annual flooding,” he said.
Gabarin said the state government had set up a special committee to provide initial relief materials and inspect affected areas to ascertain extent of damage with a view to assist victims.
He said the agency conducted sensitisation activities to create awareness on dangers of flooding to avert future occurrences.
Malam Abdullahi Manu, a resident of Kirfi in Kirfi local government area of the state, called for proactive measures to protect the community from incessant flooding.
“The flood we experienced this year has destroyed hundreds of houses and farmlands in the area.
“Government should sensitise the people to avoid building structures on waterways to prevent flooding,” Manu said.
In its bid to ensure effective response to flood disaster, the Borno State government had constituted a high powered committee to identify flood prone areas.
Mr Abubakar Suleiman, General Manager, Borno State Environmental Protection Agency said the measure was imperative to contain the perennial flooding in major towns across the state.
Suleiman said the agency, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme had conducted desilting exercise to clear drains, ease flow of water and control flooding in Maiduguri metropolis and other major towns.
The manager warned residents against indiscriminate dumping of waste and erection of structures on water ways.
Also speaking, Mr Mannir Gidado, Head of Planning, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North East Zonal Office, said the Agency had provided equipment for effective disaster and emergency response services.
According to Gidado, NEMA’s Search and Rescue Unit is engaged in training of groups like youth corps members on basic Disaster Management, Detection and Rapid Response.
Similarly, the Yobe government said it had embarked on resettlement of communities in flood prone communities to areas of higher altitude to mitigate the effects of the disaster caused by rainfall.
Dr Muhammed Goje, Executive Secretary, Yobe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) says Gov. Mai Mala Buni has directed immediate evacuation of downstream communities to a safer location.
“First, we started the evacuation exercise from Potiskum Local Government Area; we gave the affected households money to rent houses for three months within their own neighborhood.
“We have reached about 49 per cent of the affected houses so far with different types of support which include food and non – food items, building materials, etc,” Goje said.
He said that about 3,180 households in 25 communities in 12 local government areas were affected by flood disaster in the state.
According to Goje, the state government is working closely with NEMA to enhance preparedness and response to flood disaster.
In Jigawa, the state government has begun 100 kilometres grass clearance exercise on River Hadejia to check perennial flooding.
Alhaji Hamza Muhammad, Chairman, Jigawa State Flood Control Committee, said the exercise was being implemented by the federal and Jigawa State governments.
Muhammad said the state government had also erected embankments in 10 local government areas to prevent recurrent flooding.
He listed the flood prone areas to include Ringim, Taura, Jahun, Miga, Kaugama, Kafin-Hausa, Auyo, Mallammadori, Hadejia and Guri.
Muhammad added that critical stakeholders were also educated and sensitised with a view to strengthening disaster preparedness on flood awareness and community sensitisation.
He said the affected communities were also sensitised on their expected roles in disaster preparedness and mitigation.
Furthermore, the Gombe State Government had released N83 million for waste clearance and desilting exercise to control flooding in Gombe metropolis and other major towns.
The government also released N361 million for construction of 180 waste collection sites to discourage indiscriminate dumping of waste on water ways.
Mr Samaila Bima, the Coordinator, Jewel Environmental Initiative an NGO, lauded the gesture, describing it as a necessary step to avert flooding predicted by NiMet.
Bima said he was part of the team that went round the state and identified flood prone areas, adding that the existing waste collection sites were evacuated in the metropolis.
He urged residents of Gombe to desist from indiscriminate dumping and use the designated waste collection to control flooding in the state. (NAN)