NEMA TO LAUNCH CAMPAIGNS ON ANTI-FLOOD MEASURES
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has directed its six zonal offices across the country to commence awareness campaigns on measures to tackle serious flooding in this year rainy season.
According to a release issued by the North-east zonal office of the agency and signed by its Information Officer, Ibrahim Farinloye, NEMA resolved to carry out the sensitization programme following the prediction of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on possible high rainfall and flooding in this year rainy season.
The release quoted the NEMA Director General, Alhaji Mohammad Sani Sidi, as saying that all the zonal offices of the agency should begin sensitization campaigns on the high risk and threat portend by heavy rainfall. He was also said to have warned food crops and animal husbandry farmers of dangers pose by flooding, noting that the disaster, if allowed to occur, could cause serious damage and poor yields of agricultural products this year.
'We implore government and donor agencies to assist farmers in safeguarding crops and livestock through the provision of various preventive and mitigating tools in agricultural flood management mechanism,' the director general said. Sidi called on veterinary and crop officers at the state and local government levels to be available to treat affected animals and provide technical assistance to farmers at any crucial times when needed.
He noted that crops, such as pearl millet, rice, wheat, mellon, beans and groundnut, which are major staple foods in the country, thrive better with minimal and regulated rainfall. He, however, expressed fear that farmers may record poor yields should there be heavy rainfall this year.
He advised stakeholders in the agriculture sector particularly the rivers basins, FADAMA project institutions, department of agriculture and National Food Security Agency to collaborate with their counterparts at the state and local government levels by conducting assessment and monitoring process of situations in support of farmers and to also reduce water accumulation in cultivated areas.
While appealing to government and donor agencies to provide excavators and water pumping machines to forestall an unexpected flood disaster, he nonetheless noted that weather prediction was a probability and could be subject to various factors resulting to climate change variability.'It is a 50-50 chance for all prediction to come as predicted but in emergency management, we prepare towards the worst scenario while we pray that the worst will not happen, but then we need to raise the consciousness of all Nigerians to the foreseen disaster,' he added.