The Director of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South-East Zonal office, Mr Walson Ibarakumo, has warned of impending flood risk in specific areas of Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi states.
He disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.
Iberakumo said his warning was based on the forecast by National Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET).
The NEMA boss said the reason for the impending flood and storm was due to climate change.
“The heavy rainfall, storm and wind currently experienced in these states is as a result of climate change so, the people should not be taken by surprise whenever they start experiencing it.
“You know climate change has brought about a lot of changes to our environment amongst which is the flood risk that has been forecasted,” Ibarakumo said.
He, therefore, advised that residents of the aforementioned states needed to have a change of attitude especially as regards to energy use until the climate returned to its normal state.
Ibarakumo said that NEMA had started creating awareness in the affected states and would be conducting simulation with other relevant response agencies soon.
The director noted that it was necessary to begin preparations on time in readiness for such disaster as it might eventually become big and devastating.
Ibarakumo went ahead to reel out the names of the forecasted areas describing some as highly probable and probable.
“Enugu South and East are the highly probable areas while Oji River, Udi and Uzo Uwani are the probable flood risk areas.
“In Anambra State, Aguata, Idemili North and Ogbaru are the highly probable flood risk areas while Anambra East and West, Anaocha, Ayamelum, Onitsha North and South, Dunukofia, Orumba North, Njikoka and Oyi are the probable areas.
“In Ebonyi State, Afikpo South, Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Ezza South, Ikwo, Ohaukwu and Afikpo itself are areas prone to flood risk,” he said.
In addition, he said, NEMA had been able to effectively and successfully handled 30 emergency situations from January to June 2018.
Ibarakumo mentioned that these emergency situations involve floods, fire outbreaks, collapsed buildings and communal clashes.
He said that they were able to manage these disasters with the help of the Local Emergency Management Committees at the local government level and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
He said NEMA was facing a big challenge in terms of funding which was limiting its operations.