Federal Government Activates Emergency Centres to Combat Flooding

The Federal Government confirmed on Sunday that it has activated emergency centres across the country to address the worsening flood situation in several states. The government also urged residents in flood-prone areas to evacuate, citing below-expectation responses from citizens in affected regions.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) communicated the government’s actions, noting that some state governments have initiated river dredging and evacuation orders. NEMA’s spokesperson, Ezekiel Manzo, highlighted that the agency has been proactive, with its Director-General, Zubaida Umar, activating all NEMA branch offices to provide necessary support.

“The present urban flooding that has been witnessed in many states did not come by surprise. It is part of the situation that has been earlier forecasted and it was based on this forecast that NEMA had been carrying out various sensitisation and stakeholder meetings in various locations on this same matter,” Manzo stated. He emphasized the need for state governments to collaborate with NEMA to ensure proper support for affected individuals.

Recent reports have shown that at least 10 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have experienced various degrees of flooding, with casualties recorded as rains intensified. The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, warned during a press briefing that 21 more states might suffer from flooding, referencing the downpour on Wednesday that severely affected Lagos and Ogun states.

The flooding in Lagos, which brought down a two-storey building in Mushin and disrupted daily activities, was particularly noted. Pupils were unable to attend schools, and businesses were grounded. A pupil was tragically swept away by the flooding in the Ketu area of Lagos.

NEMA’s Manzo confirmed that state governments have been responding positively to the alerts, with notable efforts from Anambra state. “Many states that received our alert have been responding positively to it. We have received a good response from Anambra. We were in Anambra on Wednesday where the DG met with the deputy governor of the state, who stood in for the governor,” he stated.

The agency reiterated its call for residents to move away from floodplains and avoid building on waterways, which exacerbates the flooding situation. “The warning given to the public concerning the flood is not a joke. What we are seeing now is just the early part of the situation, we don’t know what it will look like as the rains intensify,” Manzo warned.

NEMA emphasized that it had previously communicated the impending floods to state governors, urging all relevant organizations to activate their disaster management resources. Manzo detailed the operational directives, citing the activation of NEMA’s 16 zonal offices, including those in Ekiti and Ibadan, to ensure effective search and rescue operations.

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