As part of the effort to guard against incidences of flood in the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has called on Nigerians not to disregard basic disaster prevention and control measures.
The Coordinator, NEMA Abuja Operations Office, Mr Ishaya Chonoko, who made the call at a one-day interactive forum on the Implication of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET)’s 2015 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions (SRP) on Floods and Other Disaster-Related Issues in Abuja, said disasters often have negative impact on a nation’s economy.
The occasion, which was organised by NEMA in conjunction with the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) according to Chonoko, was to ascertain the state of preparedness of all stakeholders and to know what each relevant departments or agencies have done in view of the NIMET’s prediction.
He stressed that the information provided by NIMET was required to assist relevant stakeholders to make informed decision for effective preparedness and response at all levels.
The coordinator, however, urged stakeholders to adhere to the forecast and early warnings contained in the 2015 SRP in order to formulate plans and programmes that could guard against unforeseen occurrence.
“In 2012, NIMET foretold the incidence of floods which came to pass and we cannot forget in a hurry the devastating effects of the floods that ravaged the country. We, therefore, cannot treat with levity the warnings for 2015 so that disasters do not catch us napping. We all must be alive to our roles.
“Going by historical trend, there are areas that are susceptible to flooding, and if we are not environmentally friendly, we may be faced with worse disasters that would affect lives and property,” Chonoko said.
According to him, this year’s forecast will impact on the health, agriculture, water and sanitation sectors.
Earlier, the Director-General of FEMA, Mr Abbas Idris, who corroborated that the forum was organised against the backdrop of recent 2015 SRP by NIMET, said it is pertinent for the stakeholders to study the findings critically with a view to formulating multi-disciplinary approaches towards effective preparedness and timely response in the event of floods and other rainfall-related disasters in the capital territory.
Idris, who noted that disaster management was not a one man affair, called on the forum to come up with pragmatic, cost effective and sustainable strategies to step up sensitisation in vulnerable communities in the territory.
Also speaking, the General Manger, Climate Services in NIMET, Mr Joseph Anozie, advised the stakeholders to make proper use of information provided in the SRP, saying it would help in planning in various sectors.
He said that the increase in malaria cases prompted NIMET to include malaria prediction in the 2015 SRP to enable the health sector to make adequate plans on how to tackle the disease.
He, however, called on Nigerians to play their role to ensure that the prediction does not have a negative impact on the country.
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