The National Emergency Management Agency Head of Operations (Ekiti, Ondo and Osun), Kadiri Olanrewaju, has called on residents of Ekiti State to take precautionary measures against the flooding predicted to occur in the state and its environs later this year.
Olanrewaju, who said the forecast by relevant agencies had named Ekiti among the states expected to experience flooding based on increased volume of rainfall, said most local government areas in the state were flood-prone with high risks due to sessional rainfall.
The NEMA boss spoke in Ado Ekiti during a meeting with critical stakeholders on disaster risk management, tagged, ‘Duties, functions and responsibilities in disasters management’, organised by the agency to improve community awareness and enhance stakeholder response.
He said, “Everyone of us has witnessed the recent floods in Nigeria, which claimed lives, displaced thousands of people as well as destroy properties worth millions of naira. Floods cause widespread ecological dislocation.
“Therefore, it has become necessary for communities, individuals and authorities to take proactive measures. We need to believe that prevention is better and cheaper than cure, as well as consider climate change issues more seriously,” he said.
Olanrewaju said poorly-managed urbanisation, ecosystem degradation and poverty were the main drivers of vulnerability that threatened human lives.
The General Manager, Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency, Jide Borode, described NEMA as an important collaborating partner in handling disaster issues, which, he said, had facilitated the effectiveness of people’s response in risky communities and internally displaced persons to adapt and live with the risk factors that come with flooding.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Ayodele Adeyanju, who assured NEMA of government’s readiness and support in case of emergency and response, called for increased sensitisation and capacity building of persons in the flood-impacted communities.
Stakeholders at the meeting included the Federal Fire Service, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Red Cross, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Orientation Agency, National Environmental Standard and Regulatory Agency, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, media and residents of the flood-prone communities.