NEMA laments managing 2020 flooding disaster amid COVID-19 pandemic

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As the country prepares for the 2020 seasonal rainfall amid the covid-19 pandemic, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), AVM Muhammadu Muhammed (retd), said managing flood disaster will be a herculean task this year, with compounding problems of households across the country.

The Director General disclosed this in Abuja at a press conference on the Agency’s plans for the 2020 flood preparedness, mitigation and response in Nigeria and the presentation of a document entitled “Disaster Risk Management Implication of 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction”.

Mohammed who disclosed that 2020 is going to be a year of ‘an incident within an incident’,” also said that NEMA has taken preparatory steps in mitigating the likely impact of floods, including setting up committees, holding workshops for stakeholders, starting sensitisation campaigns for vulnerable communities to undertake mitigation actions and prepare for evacuation to safer ground, among others.

“The Nigerian Meteorological Agency and the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency released the 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction and the 2020 Annual Flood Outlook, respectively. According to the 2020 predictions, the general outlook of annual rainfall amount is predicted to be normal to above normal in Nigeria, thus some places are expected to have above normal rainfall which may result into floods in 2020.

“Correspondingly, the 2020 Annual Flood Outlook forecasted flooding in some parts of the country where 102 LGAs in 28 States fall within the Highly Probable Flood Risk areas, while 275 LGAs in the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT, fall within the Moderately Probable Flood Risk areas. The remaining 397 LGAs fall within the Low Probable Flood Risk areas. These predictions are expected to have impact on various sectors, including agriculture, water resources, health, transport and infrastructure”, Mohammed stated.

In Nigeria the 2018, devastating floods occurred in more than twelve states of the federation. The floods affected 2,321,592 people, killed 199 people and displaced 722,741 people. Also, 4,107 people were injured, with a total of 100,190 houses destroyed. Similarly, in 2019, 130,934 people were affected by floods, while 48,114 persons were displaced and 126 people were killed. It also damaged 29,356 houses.

The NEMA Boss, stated that in 2020 the Country battling Covid-19 pandemic, managing a flood disaster will be a herculean task.

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