2 July 2012

Nigeria: Flooding - Relief for Victims, Tips for Others

Photo: This Day
Flooding in Lagos

Ahead of the full blast of the rains this year and the attendant floods that come with it, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has provided relief materials to about 300 victims of recent rainstorm disasters in Baruten, Asa, Ilorin West, Ilorin East and Moro Local Government Councils of Kwara State. The materials, which were distributed over the weekend, are meant to cushion the effects of the rainstorms on the victims.

Speaking at the distribution of the materials in Ilorin, NEMA Director-General, Alhaji Mohammed Sanni Sidi, represented by Mr. Joseph Okoro, said there was need for people to embrace disaster reduction such as clearing of drainage and avoiding dumping refuse in rivers and gutters.

Some of the relief materials distributed to the victims included bundles of roofing sheets, bags of cement, packets and bags of roofing nails, blankets, planks and plastic buckets.

Also speaking, the Special Assistant to Kwara State governor on Emergency and Relief Services, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi, commended NEMA for its prompt response to environmental disaster in the state.

The governor's aide, who said the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had not left any stone unturned in disaster management, appealed to NEMA to site one of its operational offices in Kwara State to enhance the discharge of its duties within the area.

He said the items supplied would complement materials to be distributed to the victims by the state government.

He also charged the beneficiaries to utilise the materials supplied to them, and prayed that they would never experience such a disaster in their lives again.

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Dauda Hamzat commended the agency and the state government for the materials received, saying widows and the aged were among those affected by the disaster. He said the materials would go a long way to alleviate their plight

And to mitigate the disastrous consequences of flood and other environmental hazards, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, has advised against throwing refuse into the drains to prevent blockage that could lead to flooding and its attendant destruction of lives and property.

Saraki in a statement noted that the recent floods in some parts of the country like Nasarawa, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos States, could be checked if people shun any act that could hinder the free flow of drainage.

Saraki advised residents of the affected areas to exercise caution and work with the appropriate authorities to manage and prevent further destruction of lives and property.

He urged them to support government at all level in cleaning their drainage to avoid further damage.

Saraki also expressed sympathy with the people affected by the recent flooding in different parts of the country.

He also called on government agencies in charge of sanitation to continue to organise sensitisation programmes for the people on the need to keep their drainage and environment free of refuse that could block the drains.

Also, the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) at the weekend advised the Federal Government to embark on comprehensive topographical maps of the nation's cities that would assist them to produce good drainage planning system for the country.

This, the NIS said, would help to end the loss of lives and property arising from flooding.

In a communiqué issued by it in Ilorin over the weekend after its 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and conference tagged, "Surveying : Disaster Management and Global Warming," the institution identified poor drainage system as the major factor for the reoccurrence of flooding in some parts of the country, especially in the nation's coastal areas.

The NIS National President, Mr. Bode Adeaga, added that the increase in human activities such as land reclamation and dredging had resulted in a reduction of water storing capacity thereby aggravating flooding within the coastal zones of the country with consequent reduction in available farmlands.

He also said comprehensive mapping of the coastal areas should be made before any major development in order to prevent avoidable negative impacts of flooding.

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