By Musa Adamu and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
As the country moves closer to the peak of the raining season, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has called on government and non-government bodies to urgently implement strategies to prevent loss of lives and properties.
Expressing deep concerns on the implications of the 2019 flood warnings issued by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Senator Omo-Agege emphasized that early flood-prevention measures must be urgently undertaken so as to avoid disastrous consequences.
A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, emphasized the Senator’s clear preference for serious sensitization and other preventive measures rather than the resort to condolence messages after the occurrence of avoidable disasters.
According to NIHSA, the federal and state governments may need to tackle likely re-occurrence of deaths and displacement through flooding in several parts of the country.
It said: “NIHSA’s 2019 flood warnings indicate that there is crucial need for adequate early flood prevention measures, mitigation and preparedness by federal and state governments.
“It also indicates that coastal states like Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ondo and Rivers states are very likely to experience heavy coastal flooding due to rise in sea level and tidal surge.
“Indeed, severe flooding has commenced in several parts of the country, causing loss of lives and property but if appropriate and early preventive measures are not implemented on time, this could lead to high records of deaths, destroyed property, family displacement, disease outbreaks, agro-economic down turn, and other negative effects associated with flooding.
“In accordance with this warning, all state and federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations and all others who can play positive roles in mass sensitization and other relevant activities should commence early flood preventive measures before heavier rains commence in a few weeks.”
Pledging full backing for all government agencies and aid partners towards ensuring that all necessary support was given to flood victims and their communities, he also advised people living in flood-prone communities to heed government flood warnings and be prepared to evacuate once such directives were given by their states’ emergency management authorities and other relevant agencies.