The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has begun preparation for comprehensive response to impending flood as predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) respectively.
It inaugurated a special committee in Abuja, to adequately prepare, mitigate, and respond in saving lives and providing supports to the communities at risk.
Members of the committee were drawn from NEMA, with representatives from the stakeholder organizations including the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development.
A statement from NEMA, on Wednesday, indicated that the Director-General of the Agency, Air Vice Marshal Muhammadu Muhammed (rtd), inaugurated the committee in Abuja, and charged them to develop realistic strategies that would help improve on the management of flood situations in the country.
The NEMA boss who was represented by NEMA Director of Planning Research and Forecasting, Kayode Fagbemi, said, “flood has been a perennial phenomenon in Nigeria that has caused widespread devastation, resulting in loss of lives and damages to personal property and the critical public infrastructure.”
He added: “With the release of the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) respectively, we have commenced advocacy and awareness creation to mobilize all relevant stakeholders including the State Governors and communities at risk to take necessary steps towards averting or minimizing losses from the predicted disaster.”
He said that 2020 seasonal rainfall prediction and the general outlook of annual rainfall amount predicted that there would be normal and above normal rainfall in Nigeria, thus some places are expected to have above-normal rainfall which may result in flood.
“Already, some communities have started to experience flash floods with associated impacts,” he added.
He assured that NEMA won’t wait for the disaster to happen, but will prefer to proffer solutions to the perennial floods.
“We may not be able to determine the magnitude of the rain that may fall, but we can decide to help reduce the negative impact in our communities,” he said.