June 15, 2024

Nwirufu cautions Ebonyi residents against flood-inducing activities


Gov Nwifuru

Gov. Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi on Friday in Abakaliki urged residents of flood-prone areas of the state to avoid activities that expose them to floods.

He said through his Deputy, Mrs Patricia Obila, that such activities included building on waterways, blocking of drainages and indiscriminate felling of trees.

Nwifuru spoke during the commencement of flood early warning, downscaling strategies in Ebonyi to mitigate the adverse effects of the menace in 2024 by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

“The welfare of the citizens is paramount in our people’s charter of needs mantra and efforts will be intensified to check the loss of livelihood and properties of occasioned by flood.

“The state government will provide funds and other logistics needed to effectively downscale this flood early warning strategies to the grassroots,” he said.

He commended NEMA for the taking actions to mitigate the effect of flooding in the state and pledged that his administration would cooperate with the agency to achieve desired goals.

The Executive Secretary of NEMA, Mrs Zubaida Umar, said during the event that the agency would pay special attention to rural areas during the sensitisation.

“For the 2024 rainy season, some Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state are predicted to be affected by flood.

“The affected councils are under high and moderate flood risk areas and are already listed in NEMA’s earlier communication to the state government.

“This underscores the importance of this flag-off and I seek stakeholders’ support in downscaling early warning and risk mitigation messages to the grassroots,” said Umar through Dr Ejike Martins, the agency’s Director of Human Resource Management.

She noted that the devastating impact of flood across the country especially in 2012 and 2022 tasks all tiers of government to collaborate with NEMA in managing disaster risks and associated hazards.
“Lives have been lost, means of livelihood and infrastructure worth billions of naira have been destroyed,” she said.

Umar noted that NEMA banks on the rainfall and flood advisories in the Seasonal Climate Predictory and Annual Flood Outlook of Nigerian Meteorological Agency and the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency.
“They have provided valuable early warning alerts and we are all expected to take steps that would drastically reduce the adverse impact of flood on the entire landscape.

“This impact is especially on the most vulnerable persons living in communities at the risk of flood,” she said.

Mr Clement Ovuoba, the Executive Secretary, Ebonyi State Emergency Management Agency (EB-SEMA), said the agency would increase its efforts in mitigating predicted flooding and raising flood awareness.