The director general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Alhaji Muhammed Sani Sidi has said that the agency had put in place necessary measures to avert flooding this year even as the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has predicted heavy rainfall in some states in the country.
He said this had become imperative in order to avert the possibility of the reoccurrence of the flooding that ravaged parts of the country last year.
The DG who spoke to newsmen in Kaduna shortly after attending a dinner organised in honour of the newly appointed director general media and publicity to Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mayaki, also attested to the prediction, saying, "The prediction of torrential rainfall is true and the states to be affected have equally been informed to prepare ahead".
It would be recalled that NIMET director general, Dr. Anthony Anuforom had predicted that there is going to be more rainfalls in 2013, noting that the annual rainfall amount is expected to be above normal in comparison to 2012 in Sokoto, Niger, Kwara and Zamfara States and environs, while the rainfall amount will be below normal in Ogun, Oyo and Kebbi States.
Dr Anuforom also disclosed that catchment areas of River Niger and parts of the Niger Delta have higher chances of having more rains in 2013 than in previous years, and therefore, advised people in such areas with high risks of flooding to ensure early planning.
While predicting that the rainfall amount would be normal in most parts of the country, he disclosed that in the extreme north, rainfall is expected to range from 400 to 1000mm, while in the south, it is expected to be between 1500 and 3000mm.
The NIMET DG had also disclosed that rainfall onset dates will vary between first week of March in the southernmost part of the country, and in late June in the far northern parts, noting that there would be early onset in Niger, Cross River, Anambra, Delta, Ogun and Ondo States by one week.
He added that the rainy season is predicted to end between mid October in the North and mid-December in the South. He said that Ondo, Delta, and Cross River States should expect early cessation of rainfall, while the southwest should expect late cessation. In view of the prediction of heavy rainfall and its attendant consequences, the NEMA DG said, "NIMET makes prediction and NEMA carries the awareness and publicity. We have informed the affected states that there will be heavy rainfall in their various states. We are prepared and ready and have put in place contingency plans," he stressed.