Disaster Response: House of Reps committee decries NEMA’s low budgetary allocation



The House of Representatives Committee on Disaster Preparedness has decried the low budgetary allocation given to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Mr Abdulraheem Olawuyi, Chairman of the committee disclosed this when he led members on a familiarisation visit to the headquarters of the agency on Thursday in Abuja.

Olawuyi noted that for the agency to be effective in disaster response, adequate funding should be made.

“It is an understatement to say that NEMA is one of the most important agencies when it comes to disaster management in the country.

“We are here as part of our responsibility as a committee saddled with the responsibility to over see all relevant agencies that has to do with disaster management.

“We are here to see what we can do to improve what has been on ground in the past as we are all aware that the level of emergency crises in the country is high.

“We can all recall that during the 2020 budget defence, NEMA had a very small budget and for this type of agency to be effective, there is need to improve on that and so many other areas,” he said.

On his part, Mr Mustapha Maihaja, Director General, NEMA, appreciated the committee for visiting the agency.

He said that the agency was saddled with the responsibility of coordinating all relevant agencies in disaster activities and management.

He however said that due to the National Disaster Response Plan, the agency had not been able to reach out to all disaster cases in the country.

“We have three layers of disasters response which is categorised under minor, major and catastrophic.

“The Local Emergency Management Committee takes care of the minor disasters, States Emergency Management Agency takes care of the major while NEMA takes care of the catastrophic disasters.

“However, we have been trying our best to meet up with disaster response to the best of our ability,” he said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that at the end of the meeting, the committee agreed to assist the agency in terms of legislations and reviewing laws that established the agency.

Members of the committee also charged the agency on quick and effective disaster response.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Sadiya Hamza


Flood: Reptiles invade homes in Anambra community



Dangerous reptiles have began to creep into some residential houses in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra, as a result of flood.

Mr Arinze Awogu, Transition Chairman of Ogbaru Council Area who disclosed this on Sunday, said some displaced people were already moving into the holding camps prepared for them.

Awogu said the level of the River Niger had continued to rise, making streets and flood channels that emptied into the River to flow backwards.

He said no fewer than 1,000 persons have been forced out of their homes.

Ogbaru is a coastal local government with all its 16 communities on the banks of River Niger.

He reported that a big cobra which found its way into an apartment in Atani, was killed with the assistance of operatives from the Atani Divisional Police Station.

According to him, the cobra was killed in Atani, the man in whose house it was killed miraculously escaped being bitten by the snake the previous night as he went into his Boys Quarters in search of some documents.

“On sighting the snake, he quickly shut the door and invited the police from Atani police division who teargassed the room and the reptile became uncomfortable, but as it made its way out, it was killed by those around,” he said.

Awogu advised people of the area to always shut their doors at all times and spread repellants to ward off the unwanted guests as most of them had been displaced from their natural habitat.

“Snakes and other dangerous reptiles are being driven out of their habitats by the flood and people’s homes are likely to be where the deadly animals may be seeking refuge,” he said.

The council chairman said more people were being displaced from their homes by the flood and that they had started moving into the three holding camps in the council.

He regreted that flooding had become a yearly experience for the people and assured them of care while in the camps.

“People are leaving their homes and heading to the holding centres created by the Anambra government for people in flood-prone local government areas.

“The task now is to ensure they have the necessities of existence like food, healthcare and other facilities, while waiting for the flood to recede.

“In addition to what the state government is doing, we are calling on the Federal Government through NEMA to come to our aid,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Idonije Obakhedo
Source: NAN

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Rivers: NEMA engages stakeholders on flooding challenge



The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), on Saturday,  engaged critical stakeholders in Rivers on the level of preparedness to mitigate the effects of flooding in 2020.

Mrs Fatima Kasim, Deputy Director of NEMAwho said at the occasion in Port Harcourt that the engagement was to follow-up  strategic measures the state government had put in place to mitigate the effects of flood.

Kasim stated that NEMA, had on June, 2020, sent letters to all the states on the need to put  in place  measures in place to forestall the effects of the predicted  flooding in 2020.

She said that NEMA wrote the letter based on predictions from the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).

“So,  we came  to follow-up  the update and also collate update in areas that have been flooded and respond the challenges of the state if any.

“I can confirm that flood has already affected some communities in Abua/Odual, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West, Degema and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGAs of the state.

“The South-South Zonal Coordinator of NEMA is making arrangements for assessment visits to the affected areas,” she said.

According to Kasim, disaster has three levels of management,  starting with the local government, state and the federal.

“It is when the disaster overwhelms the LGA that the state intervenes, and when it overwhelms the state, the federal comes in.

“The synergy between the federal and state governments is good as they are collaborating to achieve the desired result,”she added.

The NEMA deputy director advised stakeholders,  including  communities on the need to continue to prepare, saying, “it is not over until it is over” and also put in place measures to reduce its impact.

“For instance, waste should be properly disposed and not be dropped in drains and canals to avoid stopping the flow of water.

“People need to start engaging themselves on what they need to do before the flood catches up with them.

“People should begin to identify where they will move and adhere to early warning alert. They shouldn’t wait till they see the flood before leaving,” the deputy director warned.

Kasim, who is the Team Lead for the Advocacy visit to Rivers,  assured the affected communities that palliatives would be made available to them as soon as possible .

The South-South Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Walson Brandon, stated that NEMA was always prepared for emergency management and that the foreseeable challenges of the 2020 flood would not be an exception.

“The emergency management circle starts with prevention, preparedness, response and rehabilitation, and we  started sensitisation long ago.

“Today’s programme is to sensitise more people for response that the flood is here and how do we respond in case the flood overwhelms us,” he said.

Brandon said that the Rivers government had already designated primary school buildings to be used as IDP Camps should the flood overwhelm the communities.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma
Source: NAN
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NEMA urges Osun Govt. to take proactive measures against flood



The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on the Osun Government to put more proactive measures in place to mitigate the effects of predicted floods in the state.

The NEMA Director-General, AVM Muhammadu Muhammad (Rtd), made the call during an advocacy visit to Gov. Gboyega Oyetola on Friday in Osogbo.

Muhammad, who was represented by Air Commodore Edward Adedokun, Director of Search and Rescue, NEMA, said that floods had became recurrent in some states as a result of climate change.

The NEMA boss said that this necessitated all stakeholders to strategise to minimise its impact.

He said, “The annual forecast for 2020 rainfall prediction and outlook has identified some flood risk areas in some states, in which Osun happens to be included.

“The highly probable flood risk areas in Osun include Odo-Otin, Irewole, Obokun, Irepodun, Ilesa-West, Atakunmosa, Osogbo, Ede South and Egbedore.

” I want to request the state government to take proactive and necessary mitigating measures to curb any flood disaster.

” The Annual Flood Outlook informed that 102 local government areas in 28 states fall within the highly probable risk areas.

” We have 275 local government areas in 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory, which fall within the moderately probable flood risk areas.

” The remaining 397 local government areas fall within the low probable flood risks areas.

” It is imperative to activate all plans and measures against the prediction as the season moves towards the peak,” Muhammad said.

He also urged the state government to direct the State Emergency Management Agency, local government authorities and other response agencies to put in place preparedness actions.

The NEMA boss appealed to government to take precautionary measures such as public enlightenment, evacuation of residents at river banks and clearing of water channels and drainage systems

He called on the State Emergency Management Agency (OSEMA) to synergise with other key stakeholders to help activate its plans whenever any disaster happened.

In his remarks, Gov. Oyetola commended NEMA for the visit, saying it would further strengthen the level of preparedness against any flood disaster in the state.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Oluwole Oyebamiji, the governor said the state was looking forward to Federal Government assistance in tackling the menace of flood disaster.

Oyetola said the state had embarked on dredging of major rivers and streams identified as major flash points in the state.

He said that the state had also embarked on aggressive public awareness to enlighten people not to indulge in dumping of waste in drainage systems and waterways.

Oyetola said that his administration recently inaugurated an Ethanol plant in partnership with private investors in a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN
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Floods: NEMA reactivates Humanitarian Coordination Forum in Kogi, urges residents to brace up for flooding



The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has reactivated its Humanitarian Coordination Forum (HCF) in Kogi as part of preparedness for the looming flood disaster in some parts of the state.

Speaking at the event in Lokoja, NEMA Head of Abuja Operations Office, Mr Bitrus Samuel, said that the reactivation of the forum was to ensure effective and efficient coordination of activities in the event of flooding.

He said that the forum would largely be responsible for the success of response to the disaster which might come with humanitarian crises.

Samuel explained that the forum, made up of critical stakeholders in disaster management, would develop strategies, identify funding requirement and set direction for the required response.

Going by the the 2020 flood outlook and flood prediction, Samuel said that the flood could have severe impacts on people, infrastructure, farming and fishing in Lokoja, Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Ajaokuta, Dekina, Ofu, Idah, Ibaji, Igala-Mela.and Adavi local government areas of the state.

He urged the people in the council areas to brace up for a higher magnitude of flood similar to the 2012 experience, saying that the flood will come anytime from now.

The officeial cited the River Niger current flood level of 7.02 metres as a clear indication that the flood was on the way, saying that the country would be at the receiving end, being at the lower part of the river.

According to Samuel, the forum should quickly put in place search and rescue and response measures so as not to be caught unawares.

He also charged members to identify high grounds for use as camps for people that could be displaced as a result of the flood.

The News Agency of Nigeria members of the forum were drawn from the Red Cross, Navy, civil defence , media, marine police, fire service, Air Force, members of civil society and relevant ministries and departments.

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to Gov. Yahaya Bello on emergency and environment, Imam Salih Adams, described the reactivation of the forum as a timely intervention.

He also described it as a relief to residents were already griped with fear over the possible disaster.

Adams said that the state government under the leadership of Gov. Bello placed too much premium on life and property and had in line with this put in place measures to mitigate the effects of the flood.

He promised that government will make available all necessary needs and cooperation to the forum but harped on the need for members not to betray the trust reposed in them and ensure efficient use of resources that will be put at their disposal.


Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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