By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has said that 102 local government areas in 28 states fall within the highly probable flooding risk areas in this year’s rainy seasons.
The Director-General, NEMA, AVM Muhammadu A Muhammed said this was revealed by the yearly Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), that were released by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
Muhammadu made the disclosure at the weekend in Abuja during a press briefing to inform the public on the agency’s plans for 2020 flooding preparedness, mitigation and response in Nigeria.
He said that 275 LGAs in the 36states of the federation including the FCT also fall within the moderately probable flood risk areas and the remaining 397LGAs falls within the low probable flood risk areas.
“This predictions are expected to have an impact on various sectors which include agriculture, water resources , health , transportation and infrastructure,” Muhammadu said .
The DG reiterated that public enlightenment campaigns are going on in the radio, TV jingles, social media that target vulnerable communities to understand mitigation actions and prepare for evacuation to safer ground .
According to him, the agency has already taken major action plans of convening a flood management stakeholders’ consultative forum to deliberate on national preparedness to mitigate for response.
He also advised governments to organize State Humanitarian Coordination Forum meetings in order to prepare stakeholders for mitigation and response to floods when they occur.
Muhammed called on State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA) and front line local governments to be prepared.
The director-general advised them to sensitise vulnerable communities to prepare for safe evacuation
He further suggested that refuse, weeds, water hyacinths should be removed from drainage channels, water channels and “all avenues for river run-offs so as to allow free flow of flood waters’’.
Meanwhile, while unveiling a booklet on Disaster Risk Management Implication of 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, he urged all stakeholders to take advantage of the document produced by NEMA.