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As rain intensifies across the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other stakeholders have advised residents of flood-prone communities in the southeast to take pre-emptive safety measures. lives and property in the area.
The agency made the call by responding to a tidal source survey on the challenges of flooding during rainfall.
Reports indicate that some states in the southeastern zone of Nigeria are experiencing perennial flooding during the rainy season which threatens lives and the economy of the country, hence the investigation.
Some of the stakeholders who spoke to the agency argued that the floods posed a disaster risk, not only to prone areas, but also to the country’s economic development.
The Acting Head of NEMA, Imo/Abia Operations Office, Mr. Ifeanyi Nnaji advised the affected communities to always monitor the sea level in their areas.
He said the disaster risk management implication of NEMA’s 2022 flood forecast via Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) will be released soon to help prepare society for the emergency.
“The Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) enable the organization to effectively plan for the management of weather-related disasters in Nigeria,” he said.
Nnaji further advised the public to refrain from indiscriminate littering in or around the water channels.
According to him, such a habit hampers the free passage of rainwater, thus causing rainwater to overflow beyond the boundaries in detrimental proportions.
Furthermore, the Executive Secretary of Imo State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Ms. Agnes Ajoku, expressed concern about the negative impact of the floods on society.
She said if not properly managed, the effect of the floods could lead to food shortages, ecological disaster and even loss of life and property.
“In 2018, Imo experienced one of the largest floods in state history, which left many people homeless, while some lost their lives in the floods.
“Since floods are in most cases a natural disaster, the government and people should take strict measures to prevent the severe effects of floods.
“One of the ways is for citizens to stop the habit of blocking the drainage system built centrally to control flooding with waste,” she said.
She also advised against building over waterways, adding that such structures built over waterways are a potential disaster.
A director of the environment ministry, Dr Clement Anyawu, said the government should consider demolishing all buildings around the waterways.
Anyawu said the ministry has studied the federal government’s forecast for the 2022 flood outlook, adding that necessary steps have been taken to address the issue.
He called on residents of flood-prone communities to always adhere to early warning measures stipulated by relevant agencies.
In Abia, the National Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said 45 communities in 14 local government areas in the state were currently ravaged by floods.
The agency’s executive secretary, Dr Sunday Jackson, told the Tide source that the state has already started experiencing heavy rainfall, as per the Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s 2022 seasonal climate forecast.
According to him, the annual flood forecast forecast by the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency also shows that Abia was one of the most likely flood risk states in the country.

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