33 states at high risk of flooding problems between July and September

One of NEMA’s major recommendations is relocation of flood-prone communities.

The Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Zubaida Umar has emphasised the need for proactive measures against the predicted 2024 flood disaster.

Addressing stakeholders at the National Emergency Coordination Forum (ECF) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, Umar highlighted the importance of early warning backed by early action to mitigate the impact of disasters.

NEMA’s mandate includes coordinating emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response activities across Nigeria.

The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had predicted flood high-risk areas in several states and local government areas (LGAs) from April to November.

“As you may be aware, the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) have both released the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) respectively for 2024.

“The prediction informed that in April, May and June period, 25 states and 72 Local Government Areas (LGAs) are within flood high-risk areas, indicating heightened vulnerability to flooding.

“This vulnerability is said to persist into subsequent months of July to September with 33 states and 135 LGAs identified as high-risk areas, while the period between October and November has 19 States and 44 LGAs,” she said.

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Following the predictions, NEMA convened an Experts’ Technical Meeting to analyse the disaster management implications and develop a 2024 climate-related disaster preparedness and mitigation strategy.

“Based on the predictions, various recommendations have been made as preparedness and mitigation actions to be taken by relevant stakeholders to reduce possible impacts.

“This also serves as early warning message to the general public,” she said.

Recommendations include community sensitisation, clearing of waterways, monitoring of dam discharge, and relocation of flood-prone communities.

Umar urged stakeholders to take the recommendations seriously to prevent loss of lives and property. She thanked stakeholders already taking steps to address emergencies and encouraged others to follow suit.

The DG emphasised the need for regular coordination meetings among emergency sectors to effectively respond to adverse climate-related situations. She then called on all participants to disseminate the messages to grassroots levels for appropriate action.

Umar reiterated NEMA’s commitment to reducing the impact of predicted flooding and providing necessary support to affected persons.

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