NEMA urges effective measures to prevent flooding in 2024

“Rather than responding, we want to be fully prepared for whatever is coming our way in terms of flood, we are looking at ways to sensitise Nigerians not to build on waterways."

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NEMA urges effective measures to prevent flooding in 2024The Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mrs Zubaida Umar, has called for urgent effective measures to prevent flooding in the country.

She said action must be taken now in view of the just released 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction and the Annual Flood Outlook.

The D-G stated this in Abuja on Wednesday at a 2-day Technical Expert meeting on 2024 Climate Related Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies.

Umar added that it was important to use reliable data to develop effective response strategies to flooding and other disasters.

Flood overruns Command Bridge in Alimosho LGA, Lagos

She called for more collaboration among stakeholders in sensitising Nigerians to take proactive measures against flooding.

On the meeting, she said it was to come up with actionable mitigation strategies to climate related disasters in the country.

“Stakeholders with vast experiences in various fields such as Agriculture, Health, Water Resources and Infrastructure would brainstorm and come up with actionable climate related disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies,” the D-G added.

She said that the strategies should assist in preparing and responding to the expected impact of the climate hazards.

Umar highlighted the significance of early warning information to enable communities and institutions anticipate and prepare for disasters before they occur.

She said that the meeting was also part of NEMA’s 2024 flood management action plan, in view of the seasonal alert by the Nigeria Metrological Service Agency (NiMet) and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).

“We brought all stakeholders together based on the report we received from NiMet and NIHSA, and we are here to map out plans and strategies.

“Rather than responding, we want to be fully prepared for whatever is coming our way in terms of flood, we are looking at ways to sensitise Nigerians not to build on waterways.

“We have already gone out, we have started sensitising the general public not to build on waterways and today, we are goin to map out more strategies to see how we can mitigate the effect of these flooding or drought in the country,” she said.

The D-G urges the participants to also articulate early warning messages that would help relevant authorities including Emergency Management Agencies in states and local governments, as well as other stakeholders.

According to her, this will enable them to take the necessary actions required to reduce the risks in their respective jurisdictions.

She assured that NEMA would continue to map vulnerable communities based on the prediction and enhance and strengthen enlightenment campaigns in critical states.

The NEMA D-G further said that the agency would continue to encourage and promote effective cooperation, collaboration, and partnership for efficient disaster management in Nigeria.

Also, the Director-General, NIHSA, Mr Clement Eze, said the agency would continue to provide necessary hydrological data to aid NEMA in its flood management activities.

On his part, the Secretary General, Nigerian Red Cross, Dr Abubakar Kende, said that flood forecasting and early warnings were among the most effective risk management strategies to minimise the negative impacts of flood

Kende, represented by Mr Benson Agbro, the Red Cross Director, Disaster Management, commended NEMA for the meeting.

BRANDPOWER reports that the technical experts are expected to analyse the seasonal predictions and flood outlook and draw up measures to address pressing issues of climate-related disasters

They are also expected to develop actionable blueprint, focusing on enhancing early warning systems and mapping vulnerable communities.