THE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday in Lokoja reactivated it’s Humanitarian Coordination Forum (HCF) in Kogi State as part of preparedness for the looming flood disaster in some part of the state.
Speaking at the event, NEMA Head of Abuja Operations Office, Mr Bitrus Samuel said that the reactivation of the forum was to ensure effective and efficient coordination of activities when the floods come.
He said that the forum would largely be responsible for the success of the response to the disaster which he said will come with humanitarian crises.
Samuel explained that the forum made up of critical stakeholders in disaster management will develop strategies and set the direction for the required response.
Going by the 2020 flood outlook and flood prediction, Samuel said that the flood will. have severe impacts on people, infrastructure, farming and fishing in Lokoja, Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Ajaokuta, Dekina, Ofu, Idah, Ibaji, Igala-Mela.and Adavi local government areas of the state.
He urged the people in the council areas to brace up for a higher magnitude of a flood similar to the 2012 experience, saying that the flood will come anytime from now.
The Officer cited the River Niger current flood level of 7.02 metres as a clear indication that the flood was on the way, saying that the country would be at the receiving end, being at the lower part of the river.
According to Samuel, the forum should quickly put in place search and rescue and response measures so as not to be caught unaware.
He also charged members to identify high grounds for use as camps for people that will be displaced as a result of the flood.
The forum’s meeting reports that it is made of representatives of the Red Cross, Navy, civil defence, media, marine police, fire service, Air Force, members of civil society and relevant ministries and departments.
Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the state governor on emergency and environment, Imam Salih Adams described the reactivation of the forum as a timely intervention.
He also described it as a relief to residents who he said are already gripped with fear over the impending disaster.
Adams said that the state government under the leadership of Gov. Yahaya Bello placed too much premium on life and property and had in line with this put in place measures to mitigate the effects of the flood.
He promised that government will make available all necessary needs and cooperation to the forum but harped on the need for members not to betray the trust reposed in them and ensure efficient use of resources that will be put at their disposal.
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