The Federal Government, on Tuesday, cautioned states to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2022, where over 600 persons were killed by floods and properties worth billions of naira were destroyed across various states.
It gave the warning at an event in Abuja, where the Ekiti State Government announced its preparedness for the looming heavy flood situation earlier forecasted by two weather and climate agencies of the Federal Government.
Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, who announced this at the headquarters of the National Emergency Management Agency, also urged the Federal Government to support his state, pointing out that the forecasts showed that the rainy season this year would be lengthy.
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, as well as the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, which are both agencies of the Federal Government, had predicted that this year would witness heavy floods, based on their scientific findings.
“We have received the NiMet forecast for this year. We have noted that the rainy season this year will be longer and that states have to be proactive to mitigate the effects of flooding and other natural disasters.
“As a state, we commenced early preparations towards that. In areas that are prone to flooding, we’ve commenced dredging on our own, and we’ve started to alert the people to be prepared.
“We are also partnering with the Local Governments to ensure that we reduce the effect of floods. But you can do more if you have the support of an agency like NEMA. That is why I’ve come here, for we need NEMA to focus more on Ekiti, with respect to its intervention for our people,” Oyebanji stated.
Responding to the request of the governor, the Director-General, NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, said Ekiti State should established a Local Emergency Management Committee, and warned state governments to prevent a repeat of the havoc caused by floods in 2022.
“I’ll advise that you set up a Local Emergency Management Committee immediately. Let us come there when you are going to inaugurate them. Every disaster is local. It starts from a community, which is within a Local Government and state.”