Flood Alerts: NEMA Confident Government Is Prepared To Avert Crisis

flood, adamawaThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Nigeria believes the Federal and State governments are better prepared to avert a humanitarian crisis after recent flood alerts.

The Director General of NEMA, Sani Sidi, expressed hopes of government’s readiness during an emergency humanitarian coordination forum held on Tuesday.

At the forum were different agencies of government and some international agencies and talks focused on contingency plans in response to the flood alert.

Mr Sidi said the early warning provided must be matched with early action.

Some of the devastation left behind by the flood disaster that occurred in 2012 were considered and in a bid to avert recurrence, the forum participants worked on an action plan.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency had issued a flood alert few days ago.

Charting a course for discussions at the meeting, the Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Moses Beckley, read out figures his agency had in relation to the flood of 2012.

A presentation was also made on the flood alert, the contingency plan that has been put in place and the role of the different agencies involved.

The Director General of NEMA said a lot of work was being done with the state governments to avert humanitarian crisis.

A few things that have been made clear at the meeting was that time was short, local action was very important and that just cleaning drainages would go a long way to ensure that the coming flood would not lead to humanitarian crisis.

Days after the alerts were issued, the Kano State Relief And Emergency Agency (SARERA), confirmed that at least 5,300 houses have been destroyed by flood in six local government areas of Kano State.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Agency, Mr Aliyu Bashir, the affected local government areas include, Bebeji, Dawakin Kudu, Kiru Shanono, Bagwai and Garun Mallam.

Mr Bashir said over 2,300 houses were affected in Dawakin Kudu, while about 600 houses in each of the remaining five areas were also destroyed by the flood.

NEMA Requests For Probe On Flood Relief Fund

Flood ReliefThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has demanded that states tender an account of how they disbursed the Flood Relief Fund given to them by the Federal Government for flood victims.

The Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Fund was part of an initial 17.6billion naira intervention from the Federal Government, 13.3billion of which was released to the affected states and 4.3billion to Federal Government ministries and agencies in 2012.

The actual disbursement of that fund by states has in recent times raised a lot of concern.

Deputy Director of Disaster Risk Reduction, NEMA, Kayode Fagbemi, told advocacy groups and journalists in Abuja that most of the relief materials during the period were provided by NEMA with little input from states.

Several flood victims in some states, said that they got as little as 200 naira and utilities such as mattresses and blankets.

Some of the victims across different states, including a 46year old man, Joe Ayemoh from the Edo State relief camp, who lost his daughter in the disaster, shared their pains with Channels Television.

Many of them were yet to receive any tangible assistance after their stay at the camps. Some have died, while some who lost their homes were living in despondency.

Concerned non-governmental organisations have also raised their voices over the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation and their inability to explain the disbursement of the funds, two years after the incident and more than one year after the committee was expected to have completed its work.

The Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation was set up by President Goodluck Jonathan after the 2012 flood disaster, with businessman, Aliko Dangote, as its Chairman.

In 2012, an unprecedented flood ravaged several states in Nigeria, killing over 363 persons, affecting over 7million people and displaced 2.3 million.