THE Director-General, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Mustapha Ahmed, on Tuesday said the agency has identified 233 local government areas, in 32 states and the FCT that have been predicted to experience flooding in 2022.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he made this disclosure at a national consultative workshop on 2022 flood preparedness, mitigation and response, organised by the agency in Abuja.
Ahmed said that the workshop was one of the steps outlined by the agency to bring stakeholders together, stressing that the workshop was aimed at collectively preparing and providing strategies to strengthen flood risk mitigation and effective response.
According to him, “this followed the 2022 seasonal climate prediction released by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the annual flood outlook released by Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
”Efforts must be made to mitigate and respond effectively to flooding. We have sent advisory letters and maps showing predicted flood risk areas in various states to the respective state governments.”
While explaining that NEMA had “produced risk maps for vulnerable local government areas as forecasted by NIHSA’s annual flood outlook,” Ahmed added that state emergency management agencies as well as local emergency management committees, must be proactive.
He said this would ensure effective and efficient flood preparedness, mitigation and response. On her part, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, called on relevant stakeholders to take proactive measures in addressing flood and its associated impacts.
Farouq, who was represented by the deputy director, Disaster Management, at the ministry, Dr Abubakar Suleiman, stated that adequate information must be sent out to the public for effective preparation.
“Intensification of public enlightenment campaigns, targeting vulnerable communities to undertake mitigation actions and prepare for evacuation to safe ground. Identification of high grounds for possible internally displaced persons camps, to shelter evacuated communities. De-silting river channels and canals and removal of all refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats from water channel, drainage and on all avenues for river run offs so as to allow free flow of flood waters,” she remarked.
Farouq also hinted of plans by her ministry to present national flood emergency preparedness and response plan to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
She said: “The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has taken note of this year’s prediction and is working with relevant stakeholders to mitigate the possible effects of such flooding incidences.”