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2021 Floods: NEMA calls for stakeholders’ effective response

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on stakeholders to work together to strengthen community resilience and response to floods in the country.

Flooding in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State

Mr Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General, NEMA, made the call at a National Consultative Workshop on 2021 Flood Preparedness, Mitigation and Response, on Thursday, August 26, 2021 in Abuja.

Ahmed said that the workshop was one of its expedient steps necessary to collectively prepare for and provide strategies to strengthen flood risk mitigation and response among emergency stakeholders.

He said following flood incidences in many parts of the country, the agency is monitoring the situation to activate Emergency Operations Centres in the affected areas for search and rescue.

Ahmed said that there had been reported cases in 210 Local Government Areas in 32 states and Federal Capital Territory with attendant loss of lives, livelihoods and properties.

He added that the agency on its part would also be conducting assessment to support the displaced persons.

“As part of our collective responsibilities Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) need to always come together with the view to plan for effective response to flood, to save lives, destruction of properties and infrastructures.

“Since the release of climate prediction NiMet and Flood Outlook by NIHSA, NEMA carefully series of activities to flood preparedness, mitigation and response measures, most of which have been implemented,” he said.

The director-general, while commending the stakeholders for their performances in the past, added that the agency would continue to count on their continuous cooperation and collaboration towards saving lives, properties and attending to the distressed in the society.

The event had as participants, Executive Secretaries of all the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), representatives of Centres for Disaster Risk Management Studies from six universities and Heads of NEMA’s zonal, Territorial and Operations Offices.

NEMA in a report said a total of 2,353,647 people were affected by the 2020 flood disaster.

It also said that 69 lives were lost compared to the 158 lives but only 277,555 affected in 2019.

By Ruth Oketunde

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