The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on various levels of government in Nigeria to take proactive measures to prevent flood disasters in 2019.
The Southwest coordinator of NEMA, Mr Olusegun Afolayan, gave the advice at a stakeholder’s forum on disaster management in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
Afolayan said in managing disasters, stakeholders must work together to ensure maximum coordination and cooperation as well as communicate effectively, noting that these were critical to success in disaster management.
“We are in the raining season, which usually comes with associated flooding in many communities across the country. Hence, certain measures must be taken to prevent these associated flood disasters.
“State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA) must be adequately funded to perform their role, because absence of funds in the State Agencies is putting more pressure on NEMA.
“Early warning signs must be timely and understandable to those at risk and stakeholders must ensure proper coordination and cooperation among themselves to be able to manage different forms of disasters“, Afolayan said.
Speaking in the same vein, a former Deputy Director, Disaster Reduction Department of NEMA, Iyiola Akande said there was urgent need for SEMA to be adequately funded by State governments to perform its disaster management role effectively.
Akande, who noted that disaster management was multi-dimensional in nature, also said stakeholders must collaborate to minimise the impact of disasters on victims.
Erecting ‘better’ structures
Osun SEMA General Manager, Oluyemi Olanrewaju underscored the collaboration of his Agency with NEMA in the areas of organising disaster management workshops and providing relief materials to disaster victims in the State.
He also called on residents to refrain from dumping refuse on water paths and urged developers in the State to always engage professionals when erecting structures.
The Director of Development Matters, Osun Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, Mr Ezekiel Oladejo said in order to prevent a major disaster from happening in the State, government had marked all dilapidated and failing structures therein for demolition.
The theme of the forum was “Coordination, Cooperation and Communication: Role of Stakeholders in Disaster Management”.