April 17, 2024

NEMA moves to mitigate climate impact, floods in 2024


Aerial view of the flood in Ayolas, 300 km south of Asuncion, Paraguay, taken on November 3, 2023. – The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 will be held from November 30 to December 12, 2023, in Dubai. (Photo by Norberto DUARTE / AFP)

By Fortune Eromosele, Abuja

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has begun to put in place proactive measures to mitigate climate impact as well as flooding in the year 2024.

Vanguard reports that Prof. Joseph Utsev, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, had cautioned that 148 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across 31 states are among the highly probable flood risk areas for 2024.

In her remarks at the experts technical meeting of stakeholders to analyse the 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction and Annual Flood Outlook in Abuja, the Director-General, NEMA, Mrs Zubaida Umar, said that the Agency will continue to map out vulnerable communities in States based on the prediction.

According to her, “I am delighted to welcome you all to the Experts’ Technical Meeting of stakeholders to analyze the 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction and Annual Flood Outlook. 

“This is the first step amongst others in ensuring that knowledgeable stakeholders gather to deliberate and work out proficient strategies to drive climate intervention processes in Nigeria.

“Stakeholders with vast experiences in various fields such as Agriculture, Health, Water Resources and Infrastructure have been brought together to brainstorm so as to come up with actionable climate related disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies that would assist in preparing for and responding to expected impact of the predicted climate hazards.

“This has become more compelling given our previous experience of unprecedented climate induced disasters that had affected several communities in Nigeria. As the occurrence of climate related disasters such as floods and epidemics continue to increase, it is evident that human lives.

“Properties as well as livelihoods are threatened. Communities will continue to experience impacts from the increasing extreme climate events that result in disasters.

“To this end, it’s crucial to disseminate and communicate timely and credible early warning information to enable communities and institutions to anticipate and prepare for disasters by implementing anticipatory action before they occur.

“This workshop is organized as a continuation of the Agency’s planned activities since the release of the 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) by Nigeria Metrological Service Agency (NiMet) and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) released by the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) yesterday.

“I wish to commend the management and staff of NiMet and NIHSA for their consistency in releasing weather and hydrological information. 

“I will also like to appreciate all stakeholders for graciously responding to our invitation and reaffirm the commitment and collective desire to reduce the potential impact of natural and human induced disasters in Nigeria.

“I am convinced that the articulated early warning message which shall be developed in collaboration with stakeholders here will help to prepare State’s Chief Executives, State Emergency Management Agencies, Local Emergency Management Committees and other stakeholders to take necessary action required to facilitate risk reduction in their respective jurisdictions.

“NEMA will also continue to map vulnerable communities based on the prediction as indicated by our climate risk monitoring agencies to enhance and strengthen enlightenment campaign in critical states.

“We will continue to encourage and promote effective co-operation. Collaboration and partnership for efficient management of disasters in Nigeria.”

In his goodwill message, the Director-General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, Engr. Clement Nze, lauded NEMA’s proactive steps.

He said, “We understand what we need to do in disaster management as an Agency. If after our predictions and NEMA refuses to make use of it, it will be like a research kept in a cupboard. But seeing that NEMA is always ready to utilise our products to enhance their work, we are delighted to identify with NEMA.”