The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has, Friday, warned that Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 28 states across the country are more prone to flooding this year as it assures of its readiness to combat it.
While the agency assured the nation that it had written to the affected governors to prepare in a bid to mitigate the impact of the flooding in the states, NEMA said the letter indicated the areas that would be affected.
The agency, however, listed precautionary measures to reduce the impact of the flooding. “We have begun stockpiling food items ahead of the flooding because of the unpredictable impact of the flooding.”
Its Director-General, AVM Muhammadu Muhammed (Rtd), who disclosed this in Abuja while giving an update on its 2020 flood preparedness, mitigation, and response, said: “While we have stock-piled relief materials both food and non-food items, we have written letters to inform all the state governors indicating the LGAs that may be affected by the flood with suggested proactive mitigation measures”.
Muhammed added, “Floods can cause widespread devastation, resulting in loss of lives and damages to property and critical public infrastructure.
“Unfortunately, 2020 is going to be a year of ‘an incident within an incident with the Country battling Covid-19 pandemic, managing a flood disaster will be a herculean task.”
Highlighting the general outlook of annual rainfall, he said 2020 amount is predicted to be normal to above normal in Nigeria, thus some places are expected to have above-normal rainfall which may result into floods in 2020.
The DG continued that the 2020 Annual Flood Outlook forecasted flooding in some parts of the country where 102 LGAs in 28 states fall within the highly probable flood risk areas. “275 LGAs in the 36 states of the federation including the FCT fall within the moderately probable flood risk areas”.
The remaining 397 LGAs, he noted, fall within the low probable flood risk areas. These predictions are expected to have an impact on various sectors including agriculture, water resources, health, transport, and infrastructure.
While describing 2020 as a year of an incident within an incident following the outbreak of COVID-19, the NEMA boss said managing flood disaster would be a herculean task.
On how flooding would be managed amidst COVID-19, the Muhammed protocols of COVID-19 emphasise physical distancing and the use of face masks.
“If the flood leads to the displacement of people, they may need to be sheltered in IDP Camps where people will be in close contact. With the already overstretched health infrastructure, this will lead to a complex humanitarian situation.”
He, therefore, called for for collective efforts to reduce the impact of the flood, imploring Nigerians to ensure that drainages are well cleared while taking other precautionary measures.Follow us on social media