The Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Mustapha Ahmed, says Nigeria will be witnessing severe flooding in 2023 as indicated by predictions from relevant agencies.
He made the disclosure at a two-day Experts’ Technical Meeting on 2023 Climate Related Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies, on Wednesday, March 1, in Abuja.
Ahmed noted that there had been seasonal climate predictions and annual flood outlooks by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
He said that the flood disaster in 2022 was an eye-opener, adding that the agency would spread early warning messages to states and Local Government Areas (LGAs) and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The director-general said that the meeting would focus on the development of vulnerability and risk mapping to be used as a guide to avert a repeat of last year’s severe flooding.
“We have started early this year, as we are ready for early warning and early action.
“We will bombard every citizen, state and local government with this information as we want them to know that it is serious.
“We will not keep quiet. We want them to know that there will be flood this year,’’ he said.
Ahmed urged that those living around water channels and flood plains should take precaution.
The Director-General of NIHSA, Mr Clement Nze, said that 178 LGAs in 32 states and the FCT had been predicted to experience severe flooding in 2023.
“This time, we came out early with this prediction and we expect that relevant actors, governments and individuals will go to work.
“We expect that actions should be taken, especially at the sub-national levels, early enough, to mitigate the impact of flooding in the country,” he said.
The meeting had in attendance participants from NiMet, Nigeria Red Cross, Federal Ministry of Environment and National Orientation Agency, among others.
By Ruth Oketunde