May 25, 2023

We’re leaving no stone unturned to avert flooding in Kano — SEMA


…request N5m monthly to stockpile relief materials for rapid response

By Bashir Bello, KANO

The Executive Secretary, of Kano State Emergency and Management Agency, SEMA, Saleh Jili on Thursday said the agency is leaving no stone unturned in its level of preparedness towards ensuring a state free from flood disaster.

Jili made this known during a one-day meeting it organized in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund, and UNICEF for stakeholders on the 2023 rainy season and flood preparedness and mitigation plan.

The Executive Secretary boss said a report released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) has predicted that 23 Local Government Areas out of 44 LGAs in the state would be affected by flooding but the agency has resolved to extend it preparations to the entire state to ensure a state free from flood.

He also hinted that the agency has written a letter to the state government requesting for the monthly release of N5 million to enable the agency to stockpile relief materials for quick and rapid emergency response.

According to him, “As we are all aware, on the 25th January 2023, the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) was released by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) was equally released by Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHS) on 17th February, 2023. Accordingly, the two reports concluded that the country will experience adverse weather conditions as follows: the SCP predicted that the rain fall amount to be normal to above normal, temperature is expected to be near the long-term average and ended up by stating that some areas in the country will notice anomalies. Likewise, AFO forecasted that 178 LGAs in 32 States and FCT are within High Flood Risk, while 224 LGAs in 35 States and FCT and 372 LGAs are within Moderate and Low Risk Areas respectively.

“In pursuance of its statutory mandate the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) constituted a Technical committee of relevant stakeholders who further analyzed the above predictions on the basis of socio-economic and disaster risk management implications with regards to climate sensitive sectors of the economy which include Water Resources, Agriculture (Food Security), Environment, Health, Infrastructure and Transport. The outcome of the analysis produces an Early Warming document according to the peculiarities of each area and sector. This document has been distributed to relevant governments and agencies including Kano State Government. Accordingly, the document revealed that 23 LGAs in the State have been predicted to experience flooding which were categorized into two as follows: Highly Probable Flood Risk Areas: Ajingi, Rano, Ungogo, Dawakin Tofa, Dawakin Kudu, Dala and Kano MunicipalProbable Flood Risk Areas: Tudun Wada, Minjibir, Taruani, Garun Mallam, Rimin Gado, Gaya, Gezawa, Gwale, Tofa, Gabasawa, Kabo, Wudil, Kura Madobi Kumbotso and Warawa.

“The prediction of the afromentioned LGAs does not mean we would limit our preparedness to them but will extend to the entire state to ensure a state free from flooding.

“Owing to the above and in wanting to fulfill its cardinal role of lead and coordinating agency in emergency and disaster management in the State, SEMA therefore decided to reach out to key partners such as UNICEF and other critical stakeholders with a view to work together to take proactive and necessary measures that will prevent or significantly reduce any predictable catastrophe within and around our communities. This eventually will translate into saving lives, prevent human suffering, protection of properties and public infrastructure.

“In preparatory for the 2023 rainy season, we have written to the State Government for a request for fund of five million naira (N5 million) monthly financial standing order to enable the agency stock pile relief materials for rapid emergency response. We have already started engaging the media to educate the public on the dos and don’ts before and during rainy season and flooding, fourthly in addition to the information from national agencies regarding the forecasted situation SEMA has also informed the Government on the issue and lastly the coordination of this meeting.

“Similarly, this meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss plans that can prevent or reduce disaster incidents in the upcoming rainy season with a high probability of flooding as predicted by experts,” the SEMA boss, however stated.

Earlier, the UNICEF Chief of Kano Field Office, Rahama Farah called on the Kano State government and relevant key stakeholders to take a leaf from the 2022 flood experience in Jigawa State to come up with a robust disaster risk management plan to avert occurrence or reoccurrence of flooding and other disasters in the state.