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NEMA strategises, inaugurates committee to tackle flooding

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has inaugurated a special committee to adequately prepare, mitigate and respond to saving lives and providing supports to flood-prone communities.

Yenagoa
Flooding in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State

Director-General of the agency, AVM Muhammadu Muhammed (rtd.), while inaugurating the committee on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 in Abuja, said it was part of the agency’s efforts to step up comprehensive response to impending flood, as predicted for the year.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Head, Media Unit of the agency, Mr Manzo Ezekiel, and made available to newsmen.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) had, on Jan. 21, released the 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) report to guide the various sectors of the country. According NiMet, a “normal to above normal” rainfall is expected generally in the country.

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The agency envisaged total rainfall amounts to be 400mm in the North and about 3,000mm in the South.

Muhammed, who was represented by Mr Kayode Fagbemi, Director, Planning, Research and Forecasting of the agency, said that the agency had adopted the strategy to improve on the management of flood situations in the country.

“Flood has been a perennial phenomenon in Nigeria, which has caused widespread devastation, resulting in loss of lives and damage to personal property and the critical public infrastructure.

“According to the 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, the general outlook of annual rainfall amount is predicted to be normal and above normal in Nigeria.

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“Thus some places are expected to have above normal rainfall, which may result in flood. Already, some communities have started to experience flash floods, with associated impacts.

“We are not going to wait to just respond to the forecasted flood this year; we can proffer solutions to the perennial floods in our nation.

“Although we may not be able to determine the magnitude of the rain that may fall, we can decide to help reduce the negative impact on our communities,” he said.

The committee had representatives from NEMA, stakeholders, organisations involved in disaster management as well as the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

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By Ruth Oketunde

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