The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has described flood situations in lagos as incredibly phenomena and the most devastating so far this year in Nigeria.The Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi made the disclosure on the first day of on the spot assessment of some of the areas worst affected by a special delegation from Abuja and after inspecting newly acquired rescue boats at agency’s office in Lagos.Sani-Sidi, who is leading a team of response agencies noted that a number of death have been recorded as well as destructions of properties.
He said areas of great concern include : Oshodi, Apapa Expressway, Ikorodu, Ojodu Berger/ Isheri axis, Oworonshoki, Gbagada, Agege Oniwaya, Iyana Ipaja, Lekki-Aja areas.
He said while the team would inspect the level of damages for necessary intervention by the government, he attributed the unprecedented flood to length of rain, heavier downpour, blockage of water channels and drainages, indiscriminate dumping of refuse, building of houses along channels.
Sani-Sidi called for inter-agency collaboration and coordination of Ministry of Environment, SEMAs, Dam Managers, Fire Service and construction engineers to pave a way forward. The team from Abuja include security personnel, rescue officers, environmentalists and Red Cross.
Meanwhile, worried by the devastation caused by floods in parts of the country, NEMA has requested the supports of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on grassroots disaster awareness to boost community resilience in reducing losses of lives and property.
Sani Sidi made the request when he led the management of the Agency on advocacy visit to the head quarters of the NOA in Abuja. He said there was need for the people to be properly informed about the disaster risks in their communities to enable them adopt necessary measures in the prevention and mitigation of such. In the case of the present floods in some parts of the country, he said the agency had given early warning alerts months ago that enabled some of the affected communities to prepare ahead of the disaster.
He expressed the regrets that most of the disasters in the country were human induced, requiring positive changes in the values, attitudes, cultures and orientation of the people which the NOA should assist in creating the awareness, particularly at the grassroots. He said the NOA should further assist in sensitizing the states and local governments that were yet to establish their own functional emergency management agencies (SEMAs) to do so in complementing the efforts of the federal government in their areas.
He said the agency has identified the need for synergy for comprehensive response to the challenges of disasters therefore has developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by all the relevant stakeholders for proper commitment emergency management in the country.
Responding, Director General NOA Alhaji Idi Farouk pledged the supports of his organization to collaborate with NEMA towards disaster reduction in the country.