NEMA, Delta stakeholders meet over looming flood

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…as NEMA partners military, Edo Govt. to tackle flooding

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has embarked on advocacy visit to flood-prone Delta communities to reinforce the state’s preparedness and response to mitigate the effect of the looming flooding in the state.

The Deputy Director Planning in the agency, Hajia Fatima Kazim, who led the delegation to the state, disclosed this at a meeting with relevant stakeholders on Wednesday in Asaba.

Kazim said that the team was in the state to evaluate government’s level of preparedness toward mitigating the impact of flooding in the area.

She called for more collaboration among the stakeholders in order to overcome the disaster.

According to her, the agency earlier in June sent a letter to the stakeholders in the state on how to prepare for the situation.

“We are here to follow up on how far the state has gone in its preparedness to overcoming the impact of flooding in the state.

“We are also here to solicit your support for more collaboration because that is the only way we can achieve a lot.

“You must continue with your preparedness and regular meetings with all stakeholders,” Kazim said.

Earlier, the Director, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Karo Ovemeso, said that flood and its effects had become a perennial problem in Nigeria, defying all known solutions.

He, however, said that in line with the predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), plus the Annual Flood Outlook by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Delta set up a state Flood Management Committee to work with SEMA on ways to mitigate the impact of flooding on the citizenry.

He, therefore, underscored the need for the stakeholders to be on red alert in readiness for the disaster.

He said that the agency had placed jingles in different media platforms to enlighten and sensitise the people on the danger ahead so they could relocate to upland for safety.

He said: “It is pertinent to mention that the jingles are yielding positive responses.

“Our team has been receiving update information concerning the impending flood from various communities across the state.”

Also, CSP Imade Graham in charge of the Special Security Patrol in Delta said: “We are not unaware of the imminent danger by flood in the state.

“We have been monitoring the activities of SEMA, especially flood alerts, and we promise that the state police command will continue to provide 24-hour security service.”

An official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Auslla Azike, said that the agency would continue to provide security services for the people of the state.

The Acting State Director, National Orientation Agency, Mr Chris Anyabuine, said the agency had continued to hold advocacy on peace building and collaboration among the people of the state.

In other developments,  NEMA has also said it is poised to collaborate with the military and Edo Government to tackle the anticipated flooding in the state.

The Deputy Director Planning in the agency, Hajia Fatima Kassim, said this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Benin.

Kassim, who said she was on an advocacy visit to Edo, expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness by the state government and military to arrest this year’s flood.

According to her, my team is on advocacy visit to ensure that Edo government had put proactive measures in place to mitigate the disaster.

“We also met with Military Disaster Response Unit (DRU) in the state to find out how they can come in when the need arises.

“From what we have seen, they have assured us that everything is in order and their challenges  were stated.

“We will take the challenges to our Director-General,” Kassim said.

The Assistant Director of Communication of the agency, Maj. Jones Aina, said that the agency was making arrangement to provide communication gadgets to ease communication during operations.

“We want to make sure they carry out their roles without any problems,” Aina said.

He said that NEMA sent out teams to all the states, where the agency had offices, to carryout assessment and ensure the installation of radio communication gadgets.

He said that the gadgets would be programmed for use by critical stakeholders, including the Armed Forces, Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Edo government.

He said that NEMA had purchased handsets for distribution to stakeholders.

Earlier, Kassim met with  Lt.-Col. Olufemi Adebayo of  DRU 322 Artillery Brigade, Ekhewan Barracks and his counterpart in the Nigerian Air force DRU 107 Commander, Chris Igho.

Igho listed some of the logistics challenges facing the command to include the lack of operational vehicles, communication gadgets and boots, among others.

Mr Yakubu Gowon, the Special Adviser on Special Duties to Gov. Godwin Obaseki, said some  local government areas in the state were already faced with high risk of flooding.

Gowon listed the areas as Ikpoba-Okha, Esan South-East,  Etsako Central and East Local Government Areas.