The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad Sidi has enjoined state governments not to delay in evacuating residents of flood prone areas to safer places quite ahead of disaster.
Speaking in Asaba on Tuesday at a meeting organized by NEMA in collaboration with Delta Government for stakeholders in emergency management, the DG said the Agency had received reports that some resident of the flood prone areas had refused to relocate.
He therefore, called on state governments to deploy the much needed political will to ensure compliance with directives to evacuate.
Mr. Sidi lamented that people have refused to move despite constant warnings about the impending flood, insisting that state governments should not watch until disaster happen again.
According to him, the stakeholders meeting was necessary to appraise the level of preparedness of the stakeholders to tackle the impending flood in the state, recalling that in 2012, no fewer than 303 people died and properties worth N2.1 trillion destroyed across the country.
The disaster which also displaced 2.1 people in 32 states, he noted should not be allowed to happen again this year.
While commending the effort of Governor Emmauel Uduaghan in guiding against disaster in the state, the NEMA DG also called for close collaboration among stakeholders in emergency management in the country to ensure efficiency.
Delta state Governor Uduaghan, represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Tony Nwaka, said that his government had been collaborating with NEMA in capacity building, enlightenment campaigns and other activities to mitigate the effects of flood in the state.
According to him, three camps have been set up in Asaba, Oleh and Kwale, in readiness for floods this year, adding that land had been acquired at Owashi-Uku to establish a permanent camp for victims.
In addition to the camps, Governor Uduaghan disclosed that there is a standing committee to manage government’s grants to victims of last year’s disaster in the state. He noted that so far, items such as drugs, farm inputs and cash have been distributed to the victims.
In 2012, the flood affected 14 local government areas in the state and displaced over 500,000 people.