NEMA warns Ibadan residents over flooding

THE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South-West zone chapter on Friday in Ibadan, urged residents of the city to adhere strictly to environmental laws to prevent impending flood disaster.

This was stated by the South-West zonal coordinator, NEMA, Mr Suleiman Yakubu, during a road show. The show was aimed at sensitising the public on the need to prevent impending flooding as it had been severally announced.

It will be recalled that on July 25, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) raised the alarm over an impending flood disaster in the country this year.

NIHSA warned of a probability of rising levels of water along the nation’s course, especially in the Niger Republic axis, stating that there was a very high tendency of it resulting in flooding.

Oyo State is one of the many states listed by the agency likely to be affected by flood, identifying Ibadan to be highly proned to flash flooding.

The road show commenced from Ibadan North council secretariat and moved through the government secretariat, Bodija, Agbowo and Orogun areas. On the road show train were members of NEMA, Oyo State Emergency Management Agency (OYSEMA), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), enviromental sanitation Department and others.

Mr Yakubu said that the programme was to create awareness among locals on the danger of flooding and that the agency had embarked on the programme as a shift of emphasis from reacting to preventing disaster.

“We have an alert already of impending flood disaster across the some states in the country, including Oyo. This is why we are warning people now to desist from all activities that enhance flooding such as indiscriminate dumping of refuse to block water ways,” he said.

He also listed non-adherence to 30 metres setback law, indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drainages and building on flood prone areas as factors responsible for flooding.

Yakubu, who observed that residents still dump refuse in drainages, forgetting the havoc of the 2011 flood disaster in the state, warned them against such habit.

The OYSEMA Secretary, Mr Akin Makinde, urged the people to adhere to environmental and sanitation laws, saying they were for the protection of lives.

The caretaker Chairman, Ibadan North Local Government, Mr Oluyinka Akinbode, explained that the council had set up a committee and mobile court to prosecute offenders. Akinbode said that in the last few months, the state government had been dredging rivers; sensitising stakeholders and implement regular environment sanitation.

He also said refuse disposal in the state had been contracted to a private company by the state government and the company had been very proactive.

Alhaji Abdul-Wahab Odusina, a community leader in the Agbowo area, told newsmen that they had been giving their best in sensitising the people on the disaster.

Odusina said that the area lost many lives to the 2011 flood disaster in the state, saying they would continue to educate the people on it.