As hundreds of people and millions of naira worth of property are being devastated across some northern states, especially Taraba, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on the State Government to relocate flood-prone communities in Rivers, Bayelsa and Cross-Rivers to safe higher grounds.
The piece of advice was given by Mr Godwin Tepikor, the Zonal Coordinator NEMA South- South, on Thursday, in a briefing to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Tepikor mentioned the three states predicted to be flooded in the South-South region as Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states.
The Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, had on September, 19 held a technical meeting to review the flooding emergency situation in the country.
Ahmed at the meeting alerted the nation on the predicted flooding based on the communication with the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA) that the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon had commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir from Sept.13.
Tepikor urged the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to prepare state-level actors to be adequately ready for the very important call on flood prediction in the country.
“SEMA should intensify efforts to move away communities that are at risk and identify safe higher grounds for evacuation of persons and preposition platforms like boats that will assist in the evacuation of people at risk,” he charged.
Tepikor also called on the state governments to position adequate stockpiles of foodstuffs and non-food items, portable water for hygiene, safety and security to enable those that would be evacuated to have a fair level of comfort during their period of displacement.
He said that NEMA had taken the advocacy to the predicted communities in the four local government in the Orashi region in Rivers where the Chiefs, the CDCs, the youths and the women have been informed to be prepared for the predicted flood.
The NEMA DG said: “Though we cannot do enough until the flood has come and gone, so it is imperative that they intensify their efforts so that the impact of the flooding will be mitigated as soon as possible.”