The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), on Saturday, engaged critical stakeholders in Rivers on the level of preparedness to mitigate the effects of flooding in 2020.
Mrs Fatima Kasim, the Deputy Director of NEMA said this in Port Harcourt that the engagement was to follow-up strategic measures the state government had put in place to mitigate the effects of flood.
Kasim stated that NEMA had on June sent letters to all the states on the need to put in place measures to forestall the effects of the predicted flooding in 2020.
She said that NEMA wrote the letter based on predictions from the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
“So, we came to follow-up the update and also collate update in areas that have been flooded and respond to the challenges of the state if any.
“I can confirm that flood has already affected some communities in Abua/Odual, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West, Degema and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGAs of the state.
“The South-South Zonal Coordinator of NEMA is making arrangements for assessment visits to the affected areas,” she said.
According to Kasim, disaster has three levels of management, starting with the local government, state and the federal.
“It is when the disaster overwhelms the LGA that the state intervenes, and when it overwhelms the state, the federal comes in.
“The synergy between the federal and state governments is good as they are collaborating to achieve the desired result,” she added.
The NEMA deputy director advised stakeholders, including communities on the need to continue to prepare, saying, “it is not over until it is over” and also put in place measures to reduce its impact.
“For instance, waste should be properly disposed and not be dropped in drains and canals to avoid stopping the flow of water.
“People need to start engaging themselves on what they need to do before the flood catches up with them.
“People should begin to identify where they will move and adhere to an early warning alert. They shouldn’t wait till they see the flood before leaving,” the deputy director warned.
Kasim, who is the Team Lead for the Advocacy visit to Rivers, assured the affected communities that palliatives would be made available to them as soon as possible.
The South-South Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Walson Brandon, stated that NEMA was always prepared for emergency management and that the foreseeable challenges of the 2020 flood would not be an exception.
“The emergency management circle starts with prevention, preparedness, response and rehabilitation, and we started sensitisation long ago.
“Today’s programme is to sensitise more people for response that the flood is here and how do we respond in case the flood overwhelms us,” he said.
Brandon said that the Rivers government had already designated primary school buildings to be used as IDP Camps should the flood overwhelm the communities. (NAN)
– Sept. 19, 2020 @ 12:59 GMT |