9 September 2012

Nigeria: NEMA Urges State Govts to Enforce Physical Planning Regulations

The Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sani-Sidi, has urged state governments to enforce physical planning regulations as part of measures to prevent flooding.

He gave the advice when he paid a courtesy call on the Jigawa Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud, on Sunday in Dutse.

Sani-Sidi explained that most of the incidents of flooding which occurred in some parts of the country this year were due to the building of structures on the waterways.

"Rapid urbanisation, occasioned by natural population growth and rural-urban migration, has given rise to land use pressure and weak adherence to physical planning regulations in towns and cities," he said.

The NEMA director-general said the recent flooding in Jigawa was a wake-up call towards efficient and effective disaster management and the building of communal resilience in urban and rural communities

He added that NEMA was willing to collaborate with the Jigawa Government to explore long-term sustainable solutions to disasters.

Sani-Sidi lauded the state government for the support it had been giving to the State Emergency Management Agency and called for improved funding.

In his remarks, Mahmoud thanked NEMA for its prompt response which helped to alleviate the sufferings of persons displaced by floods in the state.

He expressed government's willingness to collaborate with NEMA to tackle disasters in the state.

Earlier, NEMA had distributed relief materials worth millions of Naira to flood victims in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that flood had killed about 20 people, destroyed houses and farmlands in the 17 Local Government Areas of the state in August, 2012.

During the distribution of relief materials in Birnin-Kudu on Sunday, Sani-Sidi said the gesture was to cushion the effect of the floods in the affected areas.

He advised the victims to take what had happened as an act of God and warned the people to desist from building on waterways to avoid flooding.

"Flooding is a natural disaster, but it can be prevented or controlled," the NEMA director-general had said.

NAN reports that the items distributed included 4,000 planks, 1,200 bags of cement, 400 bags of rice, 300 mats and 200 buckets.

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