THE National Emergency Agency, NEMA has again urged Nigerians not to take for granted any warning alert issued by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), especially on flooding or other climatic-related incidences.
THE agency had predicted heavy rainfalls in some parts of the country, alerting Nigerians to be prepared to forestall flooding as witnessed in the past.
IT advised states and local Governments to immediately relocate residents of communities along rivers, waterways and flood-prone areas to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and properties.
THIS warning becomes relevant taking into consideration heavy rains and the devastating effect of floods in most of the communities along rivers, waterways and flood-prone areas in the recent time.
THE agency has established a functional lab for the early warning and precision in response to the occurrence of disasters. The lab collects spatial data, analyses and prepares useful information that help to aid responses to them. It is one of the significant facilities of the agency for its disaster-risk reduction programme.
ACCORDING to a news report, the agency has embarked on mitigation and preventive measures against the hazard by organizing workshops on flood awareness/sensitization campaigns through its six zonal offices and six operation offices in the country.
UNDOUBTEDLY, flood-prone areas or regions always suffer devastating effects due to heavy rainfalls. For example, physical structures such as houses, roads and bridges are destroyed, leading to a halt in socio-economic activities. There is also a devastating effect on the potable water and at times lives are lost, while a majority of the inhabitants may have their key livelihood sources impacted.
The effect of heavy rainfall has began to be felt in some parts of the country.
RECENTLY, Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, disclosed that 30 states and over 100 local government areas are categorised as “high-flood-risk areas” and should expect imminent flooding.
He said the delay in commencement of the rains, the monsoon wind and the rising sea levels are factors that will further increase floods in states like Lagos, Rivers and Cross River, among others.
THE HOPE believes that there is the need for state and local government authorities to always match early warnings with early actions by introducing flood-control programmes. These should include clearing of drainages and canals to ensure free flow of water, construction of new drainages where necessary, preventing buildings on waterways and relocating those living along flood plains to safer areas.
People’s indiscriminate refuse disposal should be discouraged especially when it rains; while those living in riverine areas be warned not to construct residential structures on flood plains, as these areas are an extension of the river space.