The Director -General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Muhammadu Muhammed, has alerted the Ekiti State Government on the need for early preparedness against predictions of flooding in the state.
The NEMA D-G, who gave the advice when he led a delegation to the Ekiti Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, urged the government to step up early response toward averting and mitigating the natural disaster.
He said the prediction of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) that the state would experience flooding between August and October 2020 due to heavy rains should not be taken lightly.
Muhammed, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Planning, Research and Forecasting, NEMA, Mr Jacob Ajiboye, urged the state governor to consider the negative impact it would have on the people and the economy.
He said that the essence of the visit was to ensure people especially those in the predicted highly flood risk council areas of Ado-Ekiti, Ijero and Irepodun/Ifelodun were well sensitised to, “undertake mitigation actions and evacuation to safe ground.”
The D-G , who also addressed a stakeholders meeting, said, “It is our responsibility as government and people to evolve strategies to minimise losses through adherence to warning alerts, early preparation and proper response.
“Unfortunately, the predicted floods have started to occur in many parts of the country and it is therefore imperative for Ekiti to activate all plans and measures against the prediction of NiMET as the season moves toward the peak,’’ he said.
Receiving the NEMA delegation on behalf of the state governor, the Director-General, Office of Transformation, Strategy and Delivery, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, disclosed that the state government had put in place important measures to avert flooding.
He added that the state was proactive and could not afford to experience flooding like in 2019.
According to him, SEMA has identified all flood-prone areas across 16 Local Government Areas of the state.
Aluko added that the government would make available all that was needed by the agency to achieve the desired results aimed at averting the looming flood.
“We have done the comparative analysis of what happened last year as regards flooding and I can tell you that we have been putting in place so many things to avert it this year, especially now that NiMET has predicted.
“I want to believe that it is because of the climatic change that we are having these issues but I can say as a government, we are doing better now not to experience what happened last year in Ekiti,’’ he said.
Aluko commended the delegation for their interest and commitment in ensuring the people of the state don’t experience flood.
He assured that the government would engage residents on the need to support all efforts at preventing and mitigating the effect of flood.
Also, Mr Olusegun Afolayan, the NEMA Head of Operations for Ekiti, Ondo and Osun states, advised the state government to begin the process of clearing and dredging of canals and waterways across the state to allow free flow of water.
Folayan maintained that people of the state must be adequately sensitised on the angers of dumping their wastes on waterways and public places.
He added that everything must be done to avert and mitigate flooding in the predicted local government areas and the whole state.
Gov. Fayemi on Friday, October 9, promised to assist the victims of flood disaster which occurred in some parts of the state on Thursday.
Fayemi made the promise at the palace of the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, during an on-the-spot assessment of the areas affected by flood.
The palace of the monarch in Ekiti South-West Local Government was one of the structures and farmlands submerged by the flood.
Fayemi directed officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and other relevant agencies to move in to Ilawe Ekiti to ascertain the level of the damage caused by the flood.
The governor who empathised with the monarch and the people of the community, gave an assurance to those affected by the flood that the state government would provide succour to them.
Fayemi described the flood as unfortunate and cautioned residents to desist from dumping refuse and waste on waterways and drainages to avoid recurrence of flood in the area.
He appealed to the people of the state to imbibe the culture of maintenance and desist from acts capable of endangering their lives and the community.
A heavy downpour that lasted hours in Ekiti, on Thursday evening submerged many houses and farmlands in the area.
By Bolanle Lawal and Yinusa Ishola