Following the recent prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on possible flooding later this year, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Imo State operations office, has warned Imo residents living in flood prone areas to be conscious of their environment and report any overflow of their river to appropriate authorities.
The Imo State Coordinator NEMA, Dr Innocent Ezeaku, gave this warning in Owerri the Imo State capital while addressing journalists at the headquarters of the agency.
He noted that Imo State was one of the most affected states of the 2012 flood and due to this measures are being put in place to ensure that in case of any such occurrence, there are measures put in place to ameliorate the effect.
He urged residents of Oguta and Ohaji Egbema Local Government Areas of the state to be more vigilant due to the presence of the Oguta lake, a tributary of the River Niger.
He, however, noted that agency has begun construction of IDP centers that will house displaced persons in case of any occurrence.
Mr Ezeaku also said due to the incessant rainfall, the state government must keep up with their monthly sanitation exercise to ensure drainages are not blocked.
As part of measures to ensure adequate mitigation and risk reduction during disaster, the National Emmergency Management Agency (NEMA), South east zone in collaboration with the Imo state Emergency Management Agency have organized a one day workshop for students in secondary schools to help them gain knowledge on emergencies, risk reduction and mitigation.
The workshop,with the theme “Role of children in emergencies, risk reduction and mitigation in secondary schools in Imo state”, was held at Government Secondary school in Owerri, the Imo state capital.
The South East Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Bandele Onimode said the workshop is aimed at ensuring that adequate measures and sensitization are put in place to ensure that there is reduction in disaster this year especially after receiving another Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) prediction on the subsequent heavy rainfall that might likely occur.
Mr. Onimode added that it is also an avenue to instill in the students how to manage emergencies, risk reduction and mitigation in their immediate environment.
He reiterated that the workshop is aimed at instilling in students who are mainly disaster risk club members what early response, early mitigation and risk identification would do to help mitigate the effect of disaster if it occurs in their immediate environment.
He added that it is the mandate of the NEMA to go to nooks and crannies of the country to sensitize and educate people on early risk reduction and disaster management.
Students who were participants at the workshop expressed delight over what they have learnt during the workshop, saying it is an eye opener for them in terms of early risk reduction and mitigation of disaster.
This is the second time in three months NEMA is organising such workshop in Imo state.