The National Emergency Management Agency has commends steps toward averting flood disaster predicted to accompany heavy rains in many states in the country including Ekiti State.
This the agency begins with a sensitization of people at flood-prone areas on the need for prevention or mitigate the effect of the disaster.
NEMA Head of Operations, Ekiti NEMA Office (in charge of Ekiti, Ondo and Osun states), Olusegun Afolayan, said it was in view of the prevention that the agency, as instructed by NEMA Director General, Air Vice Marshal Muhammadu Muhammed, was undertaking the sensitization enlightenment campaign “to sensitise our people in order to avoid imminent flood disasters”.
The Nigerian Metereological Agency and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency had listed Ekiti among the 28 states of the federation that would be heavily flooded by the rains being expected between August and October.
Afolayan, who spoke in Ado Ekiti during the road show tagged ‘Sensitisation and awareness campaign on flooding preparedness, response and mitigation,’ said, “We are here to sensitise the people on the need to be proactive by not dumping waste indiscriminately in the gutter or in the public places and for those living in flood-prone areas to vacate such environments”.
The NEMA boss, said at the campaign where officials of the Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency and Ekiti State Fire Service took turns to address the residents and traders on the need to dump wates properly to avoid flood, that Ado, Irepodun/Ifelodun, Ijero and Ikere council areas of the state were prone to flood.
He said, “Flood is a natural disaster, we can only take preventive measures to avert it and in case it happens, to ensure the impact is less. That is the reason for this exercise. There is need to clear all the refuse dumped in the gutters so that water will be able to pass through.
“We saw some canals where refuse was dumped. We have to notify State Environmental Protection Agency to clear those wastes that were dumped in such canals. The state government has been sensitized too to do the needful and as well the community at large.
“The government should make sure that they clear blocked canals, government too should embark on the sensitization of the communities by disseminating information to them on the ills of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the gutters or the surrounding environments so as to avoid the imminent flood disaster as predicted by NIMET, NIHSA and NEMA,” Afolayan said.
General Manager,Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency Olajide Borode, said the state agency had been taking proactive steps to avert flood in Ekiti, saying, “Right now, Ekiti State Government is clearing the drainages around the state. They are clearing and dredging canals as well.
“The state government is constructing new drainages. Right now, channelization of the canals in Ikere and some in Ado Ekiti has been completed, whole others are still ongoing.
“We are appealing to residents of the state to comply with all environmental standards and rules of the state not to dump waste on the waterways, canals and drainages and not to be building on flood planes,” Borode said.