BY DEMOLA AKINYEMI
ILORIN—The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has warned that volume of water in rivers across the country would soon rise and may lead to flooding which may cause losses of lives and property.
To avert crises, the agency therefore advised state governments to ensure the relocation of Nigerians living in flood prone areas.
The zonal coordinator of NEMA, Abuja, Mr. Ishaya Chonoko gave the advice weekend at a one-day sensitisation programme on the strengthening of flood risk awareness campaigns among vulnerable communities in Ilorin West local government area of KwaraState.
Chonoko said government assistance for such people became necessary because most people living along riverine areas are poor and are the ones mostly affected in flood disasters.
The NEMA coordinator, who also identified awareness campaign programme by stakeholders as the cornerstone of flood risk management among flood prone and vulnerable communities in the country, added that ignorance of flood risks had encouraged people to live in flood plains.
Chonoko added that lack of awareness of risk can result in a failure to heed to warnings by relevant agencies to evacuate in the event of flood, thereby endangering lives.
He said the agency had swung into action on different measures to reduce impact of flood to the barest minimum at vulnerable communities since NIMET made flood predictions for 2013.
Chonoko noted that NIMET’s predictions had started manifesting in some parts of the country.
Also speaking, the Special Assistant to KwaraState governor on Emergency and Relief Services, Mr. Ibrahim Abdulazeez, urged those living in flood prone areas to heed government’s warning by relocating from such areas.
He said this action became necessary to avert the looming crisis, stressing that prevention is better than cure.