Benin — The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised the Edo State Government to put proactive measures in place to help mitigate against flooding.
The Director General of NEMA, AVM Muhammadu Muhammed (Rtd), who disclosed this to newsmen in Benin over the weekend during a courtesy call on Governor Godwin Obaseki, said Edo was among the highly probable flood-risk states based on predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
AVM Muhammed said, "The prediction released by NIMET and NIHSA annual flood outlook indicates that 102 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 28 states fall within highly probable flood-risk areas, while 275 LGAs in the 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) fall within moderately probable flood-risk areas, while the remaining 397 fall within the low probable flood-risk areas.
"This year's outlook has predicted the highly probable flood-risk areas in Edo to include Etsako East and Esan South East LGAs, while the low probable flood-risk areas are Ikpoba Okha, Oredo, Etsako Central, Esan North East, and Ovia North East LGAreas.
He said the measures the state government should put in place was directing the state emergency management agency and frontline local government authorities and other response agencies in the state to prepare.
He further said, "Government should carry out public enlightenment campaign to the vulnerable communities to undertake mitigation action and prepare to vacate to safe ground, identify safe locations for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and distill drainage systems and canals to allow free flow of water."
Other measures, according to him, should include organising meetings to prepare all stakeholders for mitigation and response, as well as repositioning relief materials for prompt response after any flood incident.
Governor Godwin Obaseki commended NEMA and the Federal Government for responding to the state's request in terms of emergency at all times.