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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

NEMA to map out vulnerable, flood-prone communities

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it will continue to map out vulnerable communities in response to the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) as released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet).

Ahmed Habib
Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Mustapha Ahmed Habib

Director-General of the agency, Mr Mustapha Ahmed, disclosed this on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, during a two-day Experts’ Technical Meeting to analyse the 2022 SCP, in Abuja.

The event had in attendance representatives from the NiMet, FRSC, FEMA, Red Cross, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Ministry of Education, NSCDC, Police, NOA and academia, among others.

Ahmed, who was represented by Mr Alhassan Nuhu, Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, NEMA, said that the impact of flood and other disasters on lives and property depended on the country’s level of preparedness.

He noted that it was important to simplify the predictions to vulnerable communities to stimulate early actions against climate risks in the country.

“I am convinced that the early warning messages which shall be developed in collaboration with stakeholders here will help to prepare states chief executives, state emergency management agencies.

“Local emergency management committees and other stakeholders to take necessary action required to facilitate risk reduction in their respective jurisdiction.

“NEMA will also continue to map vulnerable communities based on the prediction as indicated by our climate risk monitoring agencies to enhance and direct enlightenment campaign in critical states,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Vincent Owan, Director, Planning, Research and Forecasting, NEMA, said that the document developed at the end of the meeting would assist stakeholders to prepare, mitigate and respond to climate induced disasters.

He said that since disaster management is multi-jurisdictional, the agency would continue to build capacities of both its staff and stakeholders through sensitisation, training, simulation exercises and sustained collaboration.

On his part, Prof. Andrew Obafemi, Director, Centre for Disaster Risk Management, University of Port Harcourt, called on Nigerians to heed to information relating to disaster risk reduction in their communities.

“Disaster is everyone’s business, so when we are talking about preparedness, individuals need to follow the templates provided so that if they are conscious of this, we will have a reduced impact and adaptation will be better,” he said.

NiMet in its reports released earlier in the year predicted the earliest onset of the planting season to begin by Feb. 28 in the coastal parts of the country.

“While the onset of rainfall is expected to commence between April and May in the central states and eventually within June to July in the northern states.

“The onset of the planting season is predicted to be normal over most parts of Nigeria with a few areas having it earlier while some areas having it delayed,” the report said.

By Ruth Oketunde

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