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102 Nigerian communities at risk of severe flooding, NEMA warns

102 Nigerian communities at risk of severe flooding, NEMA warns

July 10, 2020

As the rains continue to intensify, Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has warned of imminent flood in 102 Local Government Areas across 28 states of the country during this year’s rainy season.

Director-General of the agency, AVM Muhammadu A Muhammed made this known while briefing Journalists on the agency’s plan for the ‘2020 Flood Preparedness, Mitigation and Response’ on Friday in Abuja.

NEMA also launched a document on Disaster Risk Management Implication of 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction at the event.

Muhammed said “We may not be able to determine the magnitude of the rain that might fall, but we can decide to help reduce the impact in our communities”.

He said the imminent flooding was already projected in this year’s Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), released by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), in June.

He however said it would be a herculean task to manage a flood disaster in the midst of the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the D-G, the agency had written letters to the various State and local governments that could be affected by the flood.

He further urged State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA) and front line local governments to be prepared and to sensitise vulnerable communities to prepare for safe evacuation.

Muhammed advised governments to organise State Humanitarian Coordination Forum meetings in order to prepare stakeholders for mitigation and response to floods when they occur.

He advised commuters against building and farming on waterways to avert floods and the negative impact of heavy rainfall in the country.

Muhammed also urged them to remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths should be removed from drainage channels, water channels and “all avenues for river run-offs so as to allow free flow of flood waters’’

“In Nigeria and most parts of the world, people are seriously attached to their traditional lands; it is very difficult to get them out of where they are living.

“Climate change has also compounded the issue as, sometimes, what is predicted is not what will happen exactly.

“So, if we tell them to move out from where they are living, they will tell you that in a particular year, it was predicted and nothing happened. But there are times that it was predicted and it was worse”.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) 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.

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

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