NEMA Seeks Proactive Measures On Flood Warning


SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, (THEWILL) - The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for proactive measures against anything that would exacerbate the risks of predicted heavy downpour expected in some towns and cities in the year turning into sweeping flooding.

NEMA, in a statement issued by its South West spokesman, Ibrahim Farinloye, in Ibadan on Monday, advised that the 2013 weather forecast should be taken seriously by embarking on last minute flood prevention measures.

The agency, at the end of its independent assessment exercise on the level of preparedness of all the segments of the Nigerian societies, described as appalling the level of preparation to the warning of the agency by residents of the predicted affected areas.

Calling on the other two tiers of government who are closer to the grassroots to mobilise the people towards mitigation actions of the fall-out of heavy rainfall, NEMA said it had embarked on an independent exercise to monitor the state of preparedness of all towards the readiness of the nation against the challenges of climate change which has been taking its tolls on the African society.

This, according to the statement, is in accordance with the mandate that empowers the agency to monitor the state of preparedness of all stakeholders including private organisations with their equipment and personnel holdings for effective and efficient disaster management in the country.

Farinloye, in the statement, said NEMA had mobilised all critical stakeholders in the three tiers of government, private sector, individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations immediately after the presentation of 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions (SRP) in series of meetings.

"States Governments were fully involved but the outcome of the exercise has left much to do. In the South West geo-political zone, the prediction revealed that Saki and Ibadan in Oyo State; Ondo and Akure in Ondo State, Ijebu Ode in Ogun State are expected to experience excessive rainfall.

“The States and Local Governments are expected to embark on massive mobilisation of its residents while the drainages and all infrastructures that may impede free flow of rainwater should have been cleared,” he said.

The NEMA spokesman disclosed that experts observed that the excessive downpour in Saki town in Oyo State will flow to Lagos while the residents of Ajegunle, Majidun, Odo Ogun and Oke Ogun settlement along the Ikorodu road may have high impacts of rainwater running down to their areas from Oyo State.

"NEMA's assessment around these areas especially at Ajegunle revealed that the people are not prepared for the risks as all the drainage and water channels are already filled-up which means that ordinary rainfall will pose serious danger to the residents.

"Aside from this, the whole areas are located in flood plain area while the present road construction/repairs of the road is presently putting hazards on the communities as the creation of craters at some strategic residential areas are worrisome,” he said, adding "These craters will prevent rainwater from the residential areas spilling out to the stream or the creeks but instead the rainwater collected in the crater would spill into the residential areas as water would find its way.”

Farinloye however stated that the construction company engaged by NEMA on the craters has assured that they would be filled-up before the on-set of the rainfall in the area. It also promised to create avenues for free flow of rainwater without causing any hindrance along the river channels.