Home News NEMA seeks stakeholders’ collaboration over flood forecast 

NEMA seeks stakeholders’ collaboration over flood forecast 

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhmmad Amaan

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has sought collaboration with stakeholders in Rivers/Bayelsa to prepare against the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet)flood forecast for 2024.

Mr Walson Ibrandon, Acting Zonal Director, NEMA, South-South Zone, made the call on Tuesday at am interactive session with Journalists Against Disaster (JAD), in Port Harcourt.

Mr Ibrandon said the directorate in charge of six states of the South-South, namely Delta, Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross Rivers, had done a lot on prevention and preparation toward the predicted flooding in the zone.

“Knowing that we are in the season of rain, NEMA is doing a lot to sensitise communities of the high flood prone areas to prepare against the predicted flood forecast by NiMet,” he said.

He said that NEMA had sent out letters, urging state government and stakeholders in all the high-risk local government areas to collaborate with it to ensure the predicted flooding would not take them by surprise.

“We are yet to receive response from the letters we sent to these stakeholders to discuss measures to put in place before the flood predicted period,” the director said.

He said that NEMA had shifted focus from responding to providing more relief materials to responding more on risk management, in terms of preparedness and prevention.

He said that NEMA would focus more on sensitisation and collaboration with the private sector like banks, multinational companies and construction companies as it was done in other countries.

He attributed some of the challenges faced by the agency while carrying out its duties to lack of functional communication equipment to reach out to the stakeholders.

He also mentioned lack of operational and administrative response vehicles to transverse the area and facilities for training stakeholders against disaster management, and funding.

He urged the public to know the hazard around them, as regards to fire outbreak as a result of oil theft, communal crisis due to resources in the land, cult related issues that affect youths, among other disasters, to ensure safety.

Mr Ibrandon urged stakeholders in Rivers to take the issue of disaster in the zone seriously, talk about it and draw solutions to solve the problems that might cause disaster through individual or collective activities.

He said that NEMA would continue to collaborate with JAD as a formidable group.

He urged journalists to collaborate with NEMA to inform and educate the public on prevention and preparedness on the predicted flood disaster.

Also, Mr Adebiyi Razaq, the NEMA South-South Zonal Coordinator, Bayelsa/Rivers, said NiMet in collaboration with NEMA were doing a lot having seen the rain prediction for 2024, which the South-South zone happened to be one of the focal areas.

Mr Razaq said that NEMA had been putting heads together to prepare communities that are target areas, especially in Rivers and Bayelsa, which were always flood spotlight areas on the map in the country.

Razaq also urged journalists to keep motivating NEMA through collaboration in carrying out their unbiased responsive jobs in disaster management.

He urged journalists to continue to enlighten stakeholders in the state on the need to take the issue of disaster management very seriously.

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