Over 100 Nigerian communities destroyed by flood daily: NEMA
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says more than 100 communities across the country are ravaged by floods daily.
NEMA’s director-general, Mustapha Ahmed, disclosed this at a one-day strategic workshop with disaster risk management stakeholders on Wednesday in Abuja.
“If you look at the statistics this year, floods that have hit communities are the worst, we get more than 50 alerts, and more than 100 communities are hit in just one day,” Mr Ahmed said.
He added, “So the situation is very bad, and it keeps on going up, but we pray that in the next few weeks, things will recede.”
Mr Ahmed pointed out that the humanitarian crises and human displacement in the country were threats to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
He said the country might not attain the SDGs due to natural and human-induced hazards such as floods, windstorms, drought, erosion, epidemic, conflict and banditry.
The NEMA boss added that the hazards, aggravated by climate change and extreme weather conditions, had constituted major drivers to recurring disasters in the country.
According to him, for the country to mitigate and prepare ahead of disasters, all stakeholders, states and local governments must be involved.
“Disaster management, as they say, is local, when it happens, it hits a community within a local government, within a state.
“So the first responders are always the local government, and we have to stress the need for them to set up a local emergency management committee.
“NEMA cannot be in every community in Nigeria, the local government must step in first, then the state and when their capacity is exceeded, then NEMA comes,” he said.
On his part, Daniel Obot, director, Disaster Risk Reduction, NEMA, said the workshop was aimed at sharing ideas with stakeholders on how to reduce disaster risks in the country.
“And it is expected that they all take back what they have learnt to their various institutions and realign their activities to key into disaster risk reduction because when the risks are reduced, the impacts will be less.
“The effects and consequences will be less, so this event is to stimulate preparedness, prevention and create awareness on mitigation measures that will reduce the effects of disasters in our communities and nation as a whole,” he said.
The event had in attendance representatives from the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Red Cross, CBN, and NNPC Limited, among others.
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