As four states in Nigeria prepare for impending heavy rainfall based on the recent flood alert, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has urged the immediate relocations of communities from floodplains and those that built houses on waterway.
The Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi made the warning during an advocacy visit to the Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom at Government House, Uyo after a Management Retreat of NEMA officials to review the recurrent disaster situations in the country this year.
Sani-Sidi who said with more than 200 people losing their lives and thousands displaced from flooding this year, the new alert from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) must be taking serious by the affected states of Bauchi, Cross River, Lagos and Oyo states should double their effort in contain the situations.
He said NEMA Search and Rescue Officers have been deployed to the states from their respective zonal offices to liason with officials of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) which operate under the state governments for timely and efficient response.
The NEMA boss described as encouraging the increase recognition of SEMAs by some states who have passed enabling laws for the setting up of functional emergency outfits that could assist to manage disaster and emergency situations in their communities rather than relying for NEMA for any slight untoward development.
He commended the government of Akwa-Ibom state for establishing and adequate funding of SEMA in the state and the many on-going projects that consider environmental and ecological with adequate facilities and logistics to function effectively.
Responding, Governor Godswill Akpabio commended NEMA’s intervention on several disaster incidents in the country and similar efforts in Akwa Ibom State. He said the timeliness of response and active participations of Rescue Officers from NEMA to disaster scene have saved many lives and properties.
Governor Akpabio said the state government has put in place a masterplan where constructions would any be done with the approval from relevant authorities so as to guard against flooding, building collapse and road accidents due to bad road.
He said the people in the state are environmentally conscious of their responsibility.