Buhari Pledges Additional Support For Flood Disaster Victims

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged more of his support to Nigerians affected by the floods in several states.

The President on Tuesday directed all Federal Government Agencies, to “Use their authority and resources to assist the victims affected by the natural disaster.”

In a statement on Tuesday by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina says the new presidential directive was conveyed through the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja.

“By the delegation of his authority to declare a National Disaster in response to the increasing threats of destruction by floods, the NEMA DG is mandated to coordinate a national response to emergency situations and in doing so, empowered to direct any or all agencies of government to use their authority and resources to offer assistance to victims affected by the floods.

“In a warning to all the agencies of the Federal government, the President requested that any such agency that failed to assist should be reported to him”, Adesina said.

The President sympathised with those who lost loved ones and properties from the floods, noting the loss of lives cannot be compensated, President

He assured Nigerians that his administration will do all it can to minimize the suffering and misery of citizens affected by the disaster.

The presidential support follows a declaration of national emergency of flood by NEMA boss.

Following the declaration, Maihaja inaugurated five Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) to facilitate prompt search and rescue operations as well as humanitarian support in the 12 states worst affected by flooding.

The Emergency Response Centres will be responsible for planning, organising, directing and supervising deployment of resources with the affected state governments, local authorities and communities.

 

Flood Disaster: NIMET Assures Nigerians Of Safety

NIMETThe Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), has assured Nigerians that there is no cause for alarm as it steps up surveillance to forestall flood disasters.

The Director-General of NIMET, Dr Anthony Anuforom, said that an alert by the National Security Adviser prompted the speedy establishment of a team of experts from NIMET, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency and the National Emergency Management Agency to scale up operations.

The NIMET Chief noted that although there are warnings of possible flood this year, especially in some northwestern states, the country is more prepared than before to tackle any flood disaster to prevent loss of lives and property.

Taraba:Sacked Commissioners Are Heartless And Shameless– Coordinator

The Coordinator of the Concerned Citizens of Taraba; Mohammed Bello Mustapha has debunked claims by the commissioners sacked by the deputy governor who now is the acting governor of the state over the mismanagement of the flood disaster fund given to Taraba state by federal government earlier in the year that they were sacked unjustly as the said flood disaster fund was disbursed judiciously.

Mustapha who was a guest on our morning show ‘Sunrise Daily’ said the commissioners couldn’t come up with a defence when called upon to come and explain how the fund was used.

“They were not wrongly sacked because they were given the opportunity to defend themselves, their right to fair hearing was not trampled upon, they were given the chance, they were invited to make presentation by the last Taraba state House of Assembly before the present leadership

They were all there and they made their presentations, and when the new administration came on board (the new speaker), the issue was taken from where the preceding leadership stopped, so its not a new thing”

Mustapha said the sacked commissioners should have some shame, labelling them  as ‘Heartless’ because they were placed in charge of a fund meant to alleviate the sufferings of the flood victims of Taraba state but unfortunately, they have showed that they do not have the interest of the people of Taraba at heart.

The flood disaster fund that was disbursed to some states came about when some states in the federation suffered so much loss due to natural disaster that destroyed homes, farms and several other properties runing into millions belonging individuals.

And in response, the federal government decided to compensate these states and decided to release funds to help victims of the flood. The states were categorised into A,B and C depending on the level of damage suffered.

Taraba state whose fund is now creating a buzz, was placed under category A, receiving N400m flood disastr fund from the federal government.

Watch complete interview for more details.

Kwara Govt. Begins Advocacy Visits To Flood-Prone Areas

Kwara State government has commenced an advocacy visit to flood-prone areas to sensitize the people so as to vacate river banks, in a bid to avert the reoccurrence of the flood disaster last year.

The advocacy visit which commenced at Shonga in Edu local government area of the state was led by the chairman of the state committee on flood disaster and rehabilitation, Alhaji Mohammed Dabarako.

The committee was received at the palace of the Emir of Shonga; Dr. Yahaya Haliru and village heads of all the flood prone areas in the town.

Dabarako who is also the State Head of Service while addressing the people at the palace of the monarch stressed the need for residents in river banks to vacate their domain for uplands before heavy rains set in.

He said the Federal Government has pledged provision of building materials to the state to cater for any damaged buildings during the year.

He said the state government is fully ready to put in place relocation centres in all flood prone areas of the state to a more conducive and safer environment.

Responding, the Emir of Shonga described the havoc of the 2012 flood disaster in his domain as devastating as he thanked both the State and the Federal Government for providing immediate succour to 2012 flood victims in the area.

The traditional ruler who urged the state government to put in place relocation centres pledged to prevail on his subjects to vacate river banks.

The committee distributed leaflets and hand bills to several residents in Shonga on the need to vacate river banks and is expected to continue the advocacy visits to other local government areas affected by 2012 flood including the management of Kainji and Jebba dams.

Kogi Government Distributes Grains To Flood Victims

In a bid to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the recent flood disaster and other less privileged people in the state, the Kogi State Government is distributing 1,500 metric tons of grains to the people.

The state deputy governor, Yomi Awoniyi, who presented the grains to the representatives of the 21 local government areas in the state, said the administration was determined to tackle food shortage.

To this effect, the state government has embarked on the cultivation of 10,000 hectares of dry season rice farms as part of its post-flood agricultural recovery programme, the deputy governor said.

The distribution of the grains which took place at the government store house, was witnessed by the liaison officers of the 21 local government areas, some top government officials and some of the flood victims.

Speaking at the occasion, the representative of the heads of the local governments affected by the flood disaster, and the Chairman of Ibaji Local Government, Mr. David Ogwu said the response to the flood disaster by the federal and state government has been timely and progressive.

The deputy governor thanked the federal government for allocating grains to the state, saying that appropriate committees have been put in place in each local government area to ensure that the items get to the targeted beneficiaries.

 

NEMA blames climate change for worst flood in Nigeria

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has attributed climate change to the worst flood disaster witnessed in Nigeria this year.

Aerial view images of flooding around river Niger in Lokoja

The Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi disclosed this at the end of the 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha, Qatar.

Speaking at the event, Mr Sani-Sidi said the climatic condition and drastic change to whether pattern contributed to massive flooding witnessed in the most states in Nigeria where lives were lost and sources of livelihood worth billions of Naira were destroyed.

He said: “We are now living witnesses to the reality of climate change and global warming where areas considered as dryland in the Northern part of the country witnessed excessive and torrential rainfall while some communities in the South were also submerged.

“NEMA has received tremendous support from all stakeholders during the recent flooding in many parts of the country; this is the first time we would have good collaboration with stakeholders during emergency response period. However, the law establishing NEMA states that there shall be state and local government emergency management agencies; but unfortunately, not many states have functional and effective institutional framework to manage disasters. “

Mr Sani-Sidi said within the limits of its resources, the agency had responded well to the recent flood disaster, which affected about 25 percent of the country by mobilising its personnel to provide rescues and relief services to victims.

On what should be done to mitigate the impact of flooding in the country, Mr Sani-Sidi said, “We must be environmentally conscious, where we need to build buffer dams, we must build; and people in flood plains should move to higher grounds.

“State governments must be serious about emergency management and local government authorities must also be serious; we need to create awareness and build capacity so that we can reduce our people’s vulnerability.”

On NEMA’s participation at COP 18, the director-general said that, as disaster managers, the agency finds the conference relevant, especially with the country’s recent experience of natural disasters attributed to climate change.

Nigeria’s worst flood kills 363, displaces 2.1 million people – NEMA

The flood disaster that was recently witnessed across Nigeria has been described as the worst in at least half a century, killing 363 people and affecting over 7 million people.

According to figures released by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Monday, the flooding which began in July  has displaced 2.1 million people.

The agency said 7.7 million people were affected by the flood between July 1 and October 31 and that 18,282 people have been injured.

Seasonal flash floods are often experienced after heavy tropical rains, but the sheer scale of the devastation recorded this year has shocked everyone.

President Goodluck Jonathan last month called the flooding, which has submerged parts of the south, a “national disaster” but said it would not trigger a food crisis.

Flooding in the oil rich Niger Delta, has disrupted oil production to the tune of around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) – more than a fifth of nation’s oil output – according to the Department of Petroleum Resources.

A cocoa industry body, last month predicted that cocoa output would fall far short of a 300,000 tonne target because of excessive rain.

Flood disaster is a wake-up call for Nigeria – D.G. NOTAP

Discussing the recent flood disaster that rocked major part of the country, a newspaper report said the Federal Government is losing 6.75 billion naira oil revenue to flood on a daily basis.

Looking at technology and flood, the Director General of the National Office for the Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP); Umar Bindir said flood disaster is not a new thing in the world as a lot of countries before Nigeria has had the experience and were able to cope, that is bounce back economically.

The D.G. who was on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily said that it is time for Nigeria to now wake-up in infusing technology into disasters for the economy not to suffer losses like this again.

Watch interview for more details.

Experts affirm that flood will not affect Nigeria’s food security

Just as the Minister of Agriculture recently dispelled fears over the possibility of food insecurity as a result of the flood disaster, experts in the agriculture sector have also affirmed that there is no reason to worry.

Speaking on our weekend breakfast show; Sunrise, the director of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for West Africa, Dr Roberts Asiedu, stated that “with the quantity of food produced in the country, with proper planning and mobilization, we should not have a situation where we have a on long term impact of the flood.”

According to him, the flood will even improve the soil quality because the flood will deposit rich top soil on the flooded farm lands as the flood water is moving fine soil materials from other areas and it will deposit it on the flooded plains.

The agronomist also argued that a number of disease causing organisms that would have damaged crop plants that are surviving in the soil will also be suffocated and killed.

But he warned that their will some level of pressure after the flood as it recedes as farmers rush to late planting.

He enjoined both the government and private sector to ensure that food are transported across the country in the immediate aftermath of the flood disaster to avoid an expected rush.

“There is enough food production in the country and neighbouring country; all efforts must just be made to re-direct the exported farm produce for internal consumption at a good price for the farmers.”

According to the IITA expert, Nigeria produces 67 per cent of the yams produced in the world and the country is the largest producer of cassava in the world, so he emphasised that there is no need to worry.

On addressing the challenge of post-harvest losses, the country director of Harvest Africa, Mr Paul Ilona, also affirmed that the federal government purchases and store a great deal of grains produced across the country, but added that he is not able to confirm the condition in which they are stored.

According to Mr Ilona, the current flood disaster on rough estimate has affected just about 300,000 hectares of cultivated land while the nation’s cultivated land mass exceeds 40 million hectares, so the crop expert also agrees that with adequate planning, there will be no worries about food security after the flood.

Kogi flood: Movement in jeopardy as residents resort to boats

Although over 19 states of the federation are affected by the ravaging flood, the worse hit appears to be Kogi state, where three weeks after the rise in water level, movement in and out of the state is now via boats, canoes and ferries.

Being  a confluence town and a neighbouring city to the nation’s capital, a number of travelers are currently stranded in the city due to the inundated roads which has affected the Abuja-Lokoja expressway with a number of bridges and roads, submerged.

People are now paying operators of boats and ferries to convey them and their goods in and out of the city.

The state government has  assured that efforts are being made to reduce the effect of the disaster caused by this unprecedented flood.

State and Local government must establish emergency agency-NEMA boss

In the wake of the disappointing rescue efforts for people affected by the flood disaster across the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for state and local government to establish Emergency Agency at their levels, because they are closer to the people.

This will enhance a prompt rescue mission to save lives whenever disasters strike. This was made known by NEMA’s Director of Search and Rescue, Mr Charles Otegbade on our breakfast show, Sunrise.

Responding to why the delay in rescuing people affected by the flood in Kogi which displaced almost a million people and claimed a number of lives, Mr Otegbade, stated that the agency got hold of the flood disaster in Ebaji (Kogi state) by 4PM and that the rescue team arrived at the disaster spot by 10AM the following day.

“We (NEMA) are a national body and the state and local government emergency agencies should have swung into action before our arrival because they are the closest to the people” he stated.

He also noted that the staff of national emergency agency had to be deployed from Benue state, which was already ravaged by the flood before the call came from to Kogi state.

“So the state and local governments must create these local agencies to quickly assist people whenever a disaster happens.”

He called for increased funding for the agency as well as other agencies that could assist in rescue operations.

“Idly, the Federal Fire Service should be the agency that will lead the rescue mission for flood disasters but because the Fire Service is in a dire state, they cannot do anything, all of these agencies need to developed by funding and manpower to enhance the rescue operations when needed.”

He added that “NEMA is essentially a strategic coordinating agency” as he quickly quipped that “but that does not precludes us (NEMA) from the operational tactics at the operational level.”

“NEMA should have just coordinated the efforts of every other agency if they were adequately equipped with equipment and manpower.”

Mr Otegbade stated that over 6,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are currently accommodated in IDP camps in Kogi state.

The rescue expert claimed the excessive rainfall and release of water from the dam in Cameroun were responsible for the flood.

“What we expressing is the downward movement of the accumulated water from River Niger and River Benue to Delta state” as he spoke about the flood disaster that has also affected the Niger-Delta.