Flooding: NEMA calls for proactive measures by responding agencies

Rahila Lassa, Abuja

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Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), Mustapha Habib Ahmed has advised stakeholders to brace-up and prepare to mitigate against the likelihood of flood this year.

The DG gave the advice at the close of a five-day workshop organised by the Agency in collaboration with Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre, (BUDMC), United Kingdom.

He said, the advice was against the backdrop of the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction just released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NIMET), which indicated that there will be normal to above normal rainfall in some states of the Federation, this year.

Habib noted that, it was imperative for State Governments to support their own Emergency Management Agencies to be operationally ready and also establish Local Emergency Committees for grassroots participation in disaster management.

According to him, the Agency has already begun its preparation as evidenced in the capacity training seminar.

“This year I expect stakeholders including the States Government to ensure early preparation and to match words with action,” he said.

While commending the course participants and resource persons for a robust engagement, he advised the Heads of SEMAs that participated at the seminar to cascade the knowledge gained to their various states.

He further emphasised that the seminar was conceived to improve capacity of disaster managers and specifically packaged to address common challenges in Nigeria with world class ideas.

Professor Lee Miles who spoke on behalf of the facilitators said the 5-day intense engagement covered very important and practical areas of disaster management that would benefit the nation.

Also speaking on behalf of the participants, Chairman of Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency, Walaman Sam Igrubia appreciated the DG NEMA for the foresight in organizing the seminar.

He said that the lessons learnt would immensely benefit states in their preparation and response to disasters while appealing to NEMA to sustain the kind gesture of capacity development for SEMAs.

Participants were drawn from Heads of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs); all Heads of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Zonal, Territorial and Operations offices; selected staff from all departments and representatives of stakeholder agencies.