Floods: NEMA maps vulnerable communities for emergency response

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The National Management Agency has commenced the mapping of communities that are vulnerable the impending devastating floods expected this year.

Director-General, NEMA, Muhammadu Muhammed, disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday at the experts’ technical of stakeholders to analyse the 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction.

He said the mapping of vulnerable communities for emergency response was based on the 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction and the recent flood warning by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency.

On March 24, 2021, NIHSA advised the three tiers of government and citizens across the country to prepare against the impending devastating floods in 2021.

Director-General, NIHSA, Clement Nze, who gave the advice in Abuja, said this was because Nigeria was at the receiving end of disastrous floods among the nine countries of the River Niger Basin.

“There is still time for states/LGAs and individuals to take necessary steps to avert or minimise the disastrous effects of flood in the year 2021,” the NIHSA boss had stated.

To avert the devastation caused by floods, Muhammed told stakeholders at the technical meeting on Wednesday that vulnerable communities would not be neglected as every necessary preparation should be made.

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“NEMA will continue to map vulnerable communities based on the prediction as indicated by our climate risk agency to enhance and direct enlightenment campaigns in critical states,” he said.

The NEMA boss said the technical meeting was relevant considering past experiences of unprecedented floods and other disasters that had affected several states and wreaked havoc on communities.

This, he said, had drastically affected the agency’s collected resilience, stressing that all hands be on deck this time to avoid disasters caused by floods.

Muhammed stated that the impact of these hazards on lives, and environment was dependent on the country’s level of preparedness, which to a large extent, relied on efficient early warning systems to stimulate early action mechanisms.

He, however, assured participants at the meeting that NEMA would ensure mechanisms that would allow stakeholders at federal, state, local government and community levels to prepare adequately in order to mitigate and respond to anticipated climate risks and hazards.

On her part, the Deputy Director, Planning, Research and Forecasting, NEMA, Fatima Kasim, said the target of the agency was to ensure that emergency situations across the country were handled in line with international best practices.