NEMA assures of readiness to mitigate flooding as rainy season approaches

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has assured Nigerians of its readiness to mitigate the impact of flooding in Nigeria even as the 2024 rainy season approaches.

It said this will be achieved through the use of early warning alerts in line with the Seasonal Climate Prediction and public sensitization on precautionary measures to avert the impacts of floods and associated hazards.

The NEMA Director General, Zubaida Umar, gave the assurance while speaking during a courtesy visit by the Head of Office, Nigeria, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN-OCHA, on Tuesday in Abuja.

She stated that with the rainy season fast approaching, modalities are being put in place to mitigate the impact of flooding nationwide.

“NEMA is putting in place modalities to mitigate impacts of flooding across Nigeria through the development of early warning alerts in line with the Seasonal Climate Prediction and public sensitization on precautionary measures to avert the impacts of floods and associated hazards.

“We are convening an expert meeting soon to analyse the SCP with a view to developing strategies for saving lives and safeguarding livelihoods in the event of floods during the rainy season,” she said.

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Meanwhile, Umar noted that the visit of UN-OCHA was timely as it aims to strengthen mutual support and collaboration between NEMA and UN-OCHA as part of renewed commitment to providing timely response to multiple disasters, crises and emergencies across Nigeria in line with the agency’s mandates.

She affirmed that the commitment of UN-OCHA to upgrade the NEMA situation room remains quite commendable, a feat that will enhance NEMA’s operational effectiveness in disaster response coordination.

“The commendable initiative will enable us to leverage advanced technologies and data analysis tools to provide real-time insights, improve our communication system, and enable well informed life saving decisions by NEMA.

“With the proposed upgrade of the Situation Room, we look towards its transformation to a Central Command Centre that will guide strategic level decision-making in the event of significant and catastrophic disaster events in Nigeria,’ she added.

Earlier, the Head of Office, Nigeria, UN-OCHA, Mr. Trond Jensen, stated that the office and NEMA must collaborate by exploring local solutions and preventing natural disasters, especially now that many donors are cutting back on their funding.

Jensen said the world is rapidly changing, not just due to the impacts of climate change but the recent decline in humanitarian financing.

“This year, we are looking for 20 percent less money to meet the needs of almost 300 million people globally.

“And the reason for that is that many of our biggest donors are cutting back on their funding which means that we need to work more efficiently and effectively to find solutions which are local,” Jensen said.

He added that the duo needs to look at how to prevent natural disasters, mitigate the impact before it happens, work and think smarter in collaboration with development partners to be more inclusive in response to humanitarian issues.

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