The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and stakeholders in disaster management on Wednesday brainstormed on plans to mitigate the flooding predicted for Sokoto and its environs by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET).
Mr Aliyu Kafindangi, Head of Operations, NEMA Sokoto Operations Office in charge of Sokoto and Kebbi states, stated this at the meeting with critical stakeholders in disaster risk management organised by the agency in Sokoto.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, which was tagged: ” The implication of 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction and Annual Flood Outlook Amid COVID-19 in Sokoto State ” was to improve community awareness and enhance stakeholder response.
Kafindangi said the 2021 forecast by NiMET and other agencies had predicted Sokoto to be among the states expected to experience flooding based on increased volume of rainfall.
He noted that most local government areas in Sokoto state were flood prone with high risks due to sessional rainfall.
”Every one of us here has witnessed the recent floods in Nigeria, which claimed lives, displaced thousands of people as well as destroyed properties worth millions of naira.
”It caused widespread ecological dislocation, therefore, it has become necessary for communities, individuals and authorities to take proactive measures.
”We need to believe that prevention is better and cheaper than cure, as well as consider climate change issues more seriously, ” Kafindangi said.
He explained that unsustainable development practices, poorly managed urbanization, ecosystem degradation and poverty were the main drivers of vulnerability that threatens human life.
Kafindangi stressed that the integration of policy and practices for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction would genuinely assist rational decision making and good use of resources.
According to him, the meeting was aimed at providing solutions, as well as devising best possible ways to save lives and property attributed to the predictions.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Sokoto state Governor on Disaster and Emergency, Alhaji Zubairu Albadau, called for increased sensitisation and capacity building of persons in the flood impacted communities.
Albadau, who was represented by Mr Mustapha Umar, the Director Relief and Rehabilitations in the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), described NEMA as an important partner that collaborates in handling disaster issues.
He said the partnership had facilitated the effectiveness of the people in risky communities and IDPs to adapt and live with the risk factors that comes with flooding.
NAN reports that lectures were delivered by Kafindangi on the interpretations of the 2021 sessional climate predictions and Flood is inevitable but preventable, by Emmanuel Gero of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
Stakeholders at the meeting included the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air force, State and Federal Fire Services, the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Red Cross and residents of the flood prone communities. (NAN)