NEMA cautions coastal states against excess water from Camerounian dam
The Director General (DG) of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi gave the warning at the opening of a three-day simulation exercise on flood for emergency responders in Lokoja.
The DG, who was represented by the agency’s Director of Search and Rescue, Mohammed Salisu Bala, said the exercise was to prepare emergency responders and other critical stakeholders on the earlier flood alert.
“We do not have any choice but to be on our toes and on high alert in our entire emergency management stride. Kogi, being a confluence state was chosen for this event because it is one of the states mostly affected by discharge of excess water,” he stated.
He said the exercise will also provide a platform for everyone tasked with responsibilities of flood management to test and review their emergency response plans and capabilities.
According to him: “We don’t have any dam in Nigeria to accommodate the excess water from Lagdo dam, so we expect that rivers Benue and Niger banks would be flooded and all the communities and settlements along that route would be affected.
“About two or three months ago NEMA sent out warning signals to the states that are expected to be affected by the flood.”“We had flood warning from Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) that some states, Kogi in particular being a confluence state is most likely to be affected by the flood. So this time it is very important to do this simulation exercise to sensitise people who are likely to be involved in terms of such emergency to get them prepared by way of putting them through some training.”
The Executive Secretary of Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KOSEMA), Mr. Ayegba Alhassan said the exercise was timely in view of the flood challenges already being experienced in some communities in the state.
He said the state government has been sensitising people in flood-prone communities and also dedicated some areas for temporary camps to accommodate victims in case of an emergency.
Concerned agencies in attendance at the exercise are representatives of the police, National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Federal Fire Service, Department of State Services (DSS), Civil Defence Corps, NIMET, NIHSA and others.
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