By Segun Giwa
Akure, Aug. 6, 2020 National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has alerted that 28 states and 102 local governments might be at risk of flooding due to impending heavy rainfall.
Mr Olusegun Afolayan, Director, Operations of NEMA in charge of Ekiti, Ondo and Osun states gave the warning while speaking with newsmen after sensitising some residents on how flooding could be avoided on Friday in Akure.
The alert is coming against the backdrop of warnings from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT) on the weather forecast.
Afolayan said the programme, in collaboration with the Ondo State Management Emergency Agency (SEMA), was part of the agency’s pro-activeness to responding to warning alerts by different agencies dealing with weather.
He said that the states under his jurisdiction were also part of the 28 states and the 102 local governments that were risk prone to flooding.
That is the “reason the agency is sensitising ahead of the impending danger’’.
“Flooding is not always caused by heavy downpour alone, but when dams were opened too, it always leads to flooding.
“There is a prediction from NiMeT in February, and Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) in May, informing us of impending heavy rainfall due to climate change and the ozone layer that will lead to flooding.
“About 28 states and 102 local governments have been earmarked for this possible flooding.
“So, we have to carry out sensitisation programme in the three states under my purview.
“We sensitised them about the need not to drop wastes in the gutter or the water paths.
“Those that built on the flood plains should move away in other to avoid the imminent flood disaster that is likely to happen between the month of August and October.
“And if flooding happens, it will lead to loss of lives and properties and we have to forewarn communities that may be affected.
“Causes of flooding are numerous; it’s not about rainfall alone but when the dams cannot accommodate more water,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Olufemi Obideyi, Secretary of SEMA in Ondo State, said that apart from the warning from relevant agencies, his agency was always creating awareness through different programmes to forestall flooding.
Obideyi said people should not see the agency as a palliative sharing agency after disasters, but as a proactive one.
“Flood can cause cholera outbreak because if drinking water is affected, it will lead to cholera outbreak and we don’t want that to add to the coronavirus pandemic that the whole world is already battling with,’’ he said.