The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has restated its commitment to tackle any impending flood situation predicted in the 2019 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO).
Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, the Director-General of NEMA, gave the assurance while declaring open a one-day national workshop on Flood Risk Mitigation, Preparedness and Response, in Abuja.
Maihaja said that the workshop was convened to provide the needed platform for principal actors in disaster management to collectively review the 2018 flood management operations.
He said that the impact of hydrological hazards on lives, property and environment depended on the level of preparedness, which to a large extent relied on efficient early warning systems.
According to him, early warning systems drive all processes that constitute the agency’s early action mechanisms.
“As part of our collective responsibility in serving the people, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) need to always come together to direct plan of actions towards safeguarding and protecting citizens, infrastructure and other elements that are vulnerable to climate and extremes weather in the environment.
“NEMA as a coordinating agency with support from relevant stakeholders analysed the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) yearly to determine their disaster implications.
“The document which serves as early warning for 2019, has been put together in a simplified manner to remind stakeholders of their roles in disaster risk reduction, mitigation, preparedness and response.”
Maihaja commended the management and staff of NIMET, NIHSA and other partners for regular release of weather and hydrological information.
Prof. Emmanuel Adanu, the Executive Director, National Water Resources Institute, said that the most effective method of flood control had been accomplished by an integrated water management plan for regulating the storage and discharges of dams located in River basins.
Adanu said that each dam was operated by a specific water control plan for routine floods through the basin without damage.
Mr Vincent Omuga, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the workshop was coming at the right time to help the country prevent flooding.
“We look up to Nigeria in setting good example. If Nigeria gets it right, the continent will get it right,” he said.