10 December 2012

Nigeria: Nema Blames States for Poor Flood Management

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has attributed the recent flood disaster across the country to climate change and blamed states for inefficiency in handling the crisis.

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

"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," Sani-Sidi was quoted as saying in a statement yesterday by the agency's spokesman, Yusha'u Shuaibu.

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

He admitted that for Nigeria to be environmentally conscious, there is need for it to build buffer dams, "we must build; and people in flood plains should move to higher grounds.

"We are now living witnesses to the reality of climate change and global warming where areas considered as dry land in the Northern part of the country witnessed excessive and torrential rainfall while some communities in the South were also submerged," Sani-Sidi said.

He also called on state governments and local government authorities to be serious about emergency management.

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