By Opeyemi Aremu-Gbemiro
Ado Ekiti – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has urged Ekiti residents to obey environmental laws of the state to avert the flood predicted to accompany heavy rains in many states including Ekiti.
Mr Olusegun Afolayan, the NEMA Head of Operations, in charge of Ondo and Ekiti, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ado-Ekiti.
Afolayan was speaking on the sideline of a ‘Road Show’ organised by NEMA to sensitise the residents on the effects of flood if not averted.
He said the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) listed Ekiti among 28 states that might be flooded due to expected heavy rains between August and October.
The 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, unveiled by the NiMET had projected that rainfall would start on February 24 and cease by December 28 in the southern part of the country.
According to him, obeying environmental laws of the state will stop them from dumping refuse on waterways, canals and drainage systems and building on flood plains.
”Flood is a natural disaster, we can only take preventive measures to avert it and in case it happens, to ensure the impact is less, that is the reason for this exercise.
“There is a need to clear all the refuse dumped in the gutters so that water will flow properly and thoroughly. We saw some canals where refuse was dumped.
”We have to notify Ekiti State Environmental Protection Agency to clear those wastes that were dumped in such canals,” he said.
According to him, the state government and the community should ‘do the needful’ while the governments should direct its agency to clear blocked canals.
”Government should also embark on the sensitisation of the communities by disseminating information on the ills of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the gutters or surrounding environments.
“This is to avoid the flood disaster predicted by NiMET, NIHSA and NEMA,” he said.
Afolayan said that Ekiti residents needed to be proactive by not dumping waste indiscriminately in the drainage or public places.
He warned those living in flood-prone areas to vacate such environments.
He said the road show became necessary to intimate the citizens on early moves to avert the flood predicted to accompany heavy rains in the state.
The NEMA boss said other sister agencies, the State Emergency Management Agencies, Red Cross, some NGOs, National Orientation Agency, joined in the sensitisation to warn residents and traders on the need to dump wastes properly to avoid flooding.