NEMA DG alerts Ekiti govt, wants early response against flooding
The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Muhammadu Muhammed has alerted the Ekiti State government over predictions of flooding in the state, calling on the government to step up early response towards averting and mitigating the natural disaster.
The NEMA DG who led a delegation to the Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, noted that the prediction of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency(NiMET) that the state will experience flooding between August and October this year due to heavy rains should not be taken lightly considering the negative impact it would have on people and the economy.
Muhammed, represented by the Assistant Director, Planning, Research and Forecasting, Mr Jacob Ajiboye said the essence of the visit was to ensure people, especially in the predicted highly flood risk council areas of Ado-Ekiti, Ijero and Irepodun/Ifelodun are well sensitised “undertake mitigation actions and evacuation to safe ground.”
The DG who also addressed a stakeholders meeting said, “Your Excellency, it is our responsibility as government and people to evolve strategies to minimise losses through adherence to warning alerts, early preparation and proper response.
“Unfortunately, the predicted floods have started to occur in many parts of the country and it is therefore imperative for Ekiti state to activate all plans and measures against the prediction of NiMET as the season moves towards the peak.”
On his part, the NEMA Head of Operations for Ondo, Ekiti and Osun states, Mr Olusegun Afolayan advised the state government to begin the process of clearing and dredging of canals and waterways across the state to allow free flow of erosion.
Folayan noted that people of the state must be adequately sensitized on dangers of dumping their wastes on waterways and public places, saying everything must be done to avert and mitigate flooding in the predicted local government areas and the whole state.
Receiving the NEMA delegation on behalf of the state governor, the Director-General, Office of Transformation, Strategy and Delivery, Professor Bolaji Aluko revealed that the state government has put in place important measures in averting flooding, adding that the state was proactive and could not afford to experience the situation of flooding like in 2019.
He said the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has identified all flood-prone areas across 16 local government areas of the state, adding that the government would make available all that is needed by the agency in achieving the desired results aimed averting the looming flood.
According to him, “Let me tell you that we have done the comparative analysis of what happened last year as regards flooding and I can tell you that we have been putting in place so many things to avoid it this year, especially now that NiMET has predicted.
“I want to believe that it is because of the climatic change that we are having these issues but I can say as a government we are doing better now not to experience what happened last year in Ekiti.”
Aluko who commended the delegation for their interest and commitment in ensuring the people of the state don’t experience a flood, he assured them that the government would engage residents on the need to support all efforts at preventing and mitigating the effect of flood.