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NIMET Flooding Prediction: NEMA, Challenges SEMAS on Pro-Activeness


Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

FLOODINGAgainst the background of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NIMET prediction of possible heavy flooding in parts of Nigeria this year, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has challenged various states Emergency Management Agencies SEMAs in the south east zone of Nigeria to take proactive steps towards mitigating effect of the disaster in their areas.

It however, assured residents of the zone of its readiness to respond to any emergency concerning flooding in the region.

South East Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Dr Onimode Abdullahi Bandele, gave the charge and assurance in Enugu Tuesday, during a Workshop for Strengthening Flood Risk Awareness, Camp and Solid Waste Management in the context of flooding.

Dr. Onimode disclosed that the agency had been carrying out awareness campaigns in riverine and low land communities in the zone in the past six months.

He explained that the aim of the workshop was to create awareness as well as to educate the participants/State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA’s) in the South East on issues bothering on flood control measures, camp management and solid/liquid waste management towards the impending flood this year 2013.

The zonal coordinator hinted that already, the agency had stockpiled relief materials and other necessities to meet the challenge of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency   NIMET prediction.

“We have done our own homework; and we have gotten ourselves ready. stockpiling relief materials and other relevant materials, but the States should take pro-active measures towards the impending flood this year.

“Yes, the message for both individual and corporate citizens around floodable area is that they should please listen to weather forecast, jingles or announcements on radio and TV from time to time. And take pro-active measures to evacuate floodable areas when the time comes.”

He said further stated that NEMA had been working in close collaboration with  various State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA’s).

According to him, NEMA had transferred a lot of expertise and best practices to the SEMAs through regular interactions and workshops organised by the national agency to build-up the capacity of the state agencies.

He however, urged the state emergency management agencies to take pro-active steps towards mitigating the effects of the flooding and also invite NEMA should the situation go beyond their capacity to respond effectively.

He also charge SEMA’s to assist in informing people to desist from bad habits that could cause flood disaster such as the habit of dumping refuse indiscriminately in drainages and building houses on water ways, saying ministry of environment and works should see that buildings are properly located in the zone.

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