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NEMA records reduction in flood disaster victims

17 March 2014, 08:37

Abuja – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it had recorded a reduction in the number of victims affected by floods in the past year owing to initiatives by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).

Among these is the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) the agency issued.

NEMA Acting Director, Planning, Research and Forecasting, Alhasan Nuhu, said the stimulated forecast- based disaster preparedness helped reduce the numbers of lives, property and livelihoods lost to the flood disaster.

He said in 2013, the agency recorded a decrease in the number of persons affected to less than 1 million while 38 people lost their lives and 160 people were displaced.

Compared to the devastating 2012 flood disaster, there was a significant reduction in the number of those affected.

He attributed the success recorded to sensitization campaign embarked upon by the agency based on Seasonal Rainfall Prediction and Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) 2013 annual flood outlook.

According to him, based on the 2013 predictions, NEMA had carried out preparedness activities which included convening of a meeting of all stakeholders to critically analyze the prediction.

The meeting came up with the early warning message highlighting the implications and recommendations in those sectors of the socio-economy that were climate sensitive.

Nuhu added that a national workshop was also organized to disseminate early warning messages which focused on the lessons learnt from the 2012 flood disaster in the country.

He said the agency, in its preparedness, had stockpiled relief materials in all the zonal offices and at the head office, acquired equipment in readiness for flood disaster, identified vulnerable communities and safe grounds in all vulnerable communities as temporary shelter locations.

During a workshop held in Abuja, the agency identified some challenges of SRP as lack of outreach to key stakeholders at the most basic levels, poor communication of forecasts, lack of trust in forecast and low capacity to act on the forecasts.

NIMET Director General, Dr Anthony Anuforom, said the theme of the workshop was carefully chosen to emphasise the enormous benefits that could be derived from proper interpretation and application of SRP in planning and decision-making as well as programme and projects in weather sensitive sectors of the economy.

– CAJ News

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