The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Tuesday said it had carried out mapping of all the communities likely to be affected by the predicted 2013 flood as part of its preparedness against disaster occurrence in the country.
NEMA’s Director General, Alhaji Mohammad Sani Sidi, explained that the agency’s action plan during a meeting with the Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, in Abuja.
He said the organisation had also carried out vulnerability capacity assessment of seven communities to determine the existing capacity in each community and its level of resilience.
He urged state governments to take a cue from what the agency was doing in order to compliment the measures.
Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET) had predicted rainfall with a possible flooding in some low plain areas. Based on this report, some states in the North-west region such as Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and virtually all the South-south states have also been designated flood prone areas.
However, NEMA DG said if the country must avert the flood disaster that happened last year, all hands must be on deck.
He noted that as an agency in charge of disaster management, it had upon the 2013 NIMET rainfall prediction, taken some pro-active measures to ensure proper mitigation.
According to him, apart from writing all the state governments to inform them on the need to identify saver grounds within their domains in the event of flooding, the agency had undertaken mapping of all the vulnerable communities with a view to identifying flood prone areas.
He said: “NEMA has since sent letters to all the state governments informing them on the need to identify saver grounds. We have already done mapping of all the vulnerable communities and we have carried out vulnerability capacity assessment of about seven communities to determine capacity that is available in each of the community and their level of resilience.
“We expect every state to carry out similar vulnerability capacity assessment of their local communities so that we can determine what kind of hazard exists in our various communities.
Earlier, Wada solicited for NEMA’s support in his efforts to avert a repeat of the flood incidents that ravaged some communities in his state.
Wada informed the Director General that the state had marked out save areas in the event of flooding, urging him to help in equipping them.
The governor said that the state was at present hosting about 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the neighbouring Benue State.
“We are hosting over 5,000 displaced people from Benue State as a result of communal disturbance between Fulani herdsmen and Agatu people. Both of them occupy Omala Local Government. We have been housing them, feeding them and we urge NEMA to support us in any way necessary.”
The state governor said the government had also started preparing permanent relief camps outside to the usual school premises as a build-up to combat flood recurrence in the state.
“The state is keeping a computerised record of persons and properties affected by flood for purposes of compensation and future planning. Other measures being suggested as a means of ensuring sustainable management of the flood, include, dredging of the upstream dams and critical portions of River Niger and River Benue, to expand the capacity of the dams and river courses.
“We are embarking on land reclamation of the River Niger bank through sand filling, relocation of flood plain dwellers to safer areas and enforcement of Environmental Impact Assessment requirements on all major constructions and new development projects,” he added.