Against the backdrop of flood alerts by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Mr Ademola Adeagbo of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, has admonished households and communities living on the bank of the River Niger and River Benue to immediately leave or be evacuated by the relevant agencies.
Adeagbo, who was presenter at the August edition of NISER Research Seminar Series, noted that though the alert was coming quite late, persons in affected areas should gradually prepare to leave and not wait for the impending flood to sweep them away.
He, however, decried the low level of preparedness and proaction of the concerned agencies like NIMET, NIHSA, urging the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to embark on further enlightenment of the people on occurrence of natural disaster, adaptive capability and coping strategies.
Adeagbo also called for improved funding, staffing and equipment provision of NEMA, SEMA and LEMCs, and encouragement of community development efforts towards tackling natural disasters, while warning households to desist from poor refuse disposal practices.
“Residents on the bank of the river should be prepared to leave. It should be a gradual process, though, they should not wait for disaster to happen. If you have farmlands, be prepared to leave. Evacuate all you can evacuate before the disaster happens. However, this alert shows low level of preparedness.”
“The concerned agencies have a vulnerability mapping document which they should have used before now.”