Mustapha Ahmed, director-general, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), says Nigeria will experience severe flooding in 2023 as indicated by predictions from responsible agencies.
Ahmed spoke at an experts’ technical training on climate disaster preparedness held in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said the seasonal climate predictions and annual flood outlook released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), should be acted upon.
He said the flood disaster in 2022 was a wake-up call for emergency responders, adding that the agency would spread early warning messages to states and LGAs, and the federal capital territory (FCT).
There is no doubt that today’s meeting has become more relevant and timely in consideration of our recent experiences of widespread floods and related disasters that have affected several states of Nigeria,” he said.
“The 2022 flood disaster which is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria has wreaked havoc in all the states of the country.
“Many of the affected communities are still yet to recover from the impacts of the devastating event. The 2022 flood disaster coupled with its associated hazards is, therefore, a wake-up call for emergency responders, development agencies, and partners to work assiduously to avert a repeat of the incident, especially in consideration of the heightened level of vulnerability in several communities of our country
We have started early this year, as we are ready for early warning and early action. We will bombard every citizen, state, and local government with this information as we want them to know that it is serious. We will not keep quiet. We want them to know that there will be a flood this year.”
He said the team of experts assembled by the agency will come up with comprehensive early warning messages in order to build a prepared and resilient public and safeguard lives and livelihoods.
Also, Clement Nze, director-general of NIHSA, said that 178 LGAs in 32 states and the FCT had been predicted to experience severe flooding in 2023.
He called for action to be taken early enough to avert any disasters.
“This time, we came out early with this prediction and we expect that relevant actors, governments, and individuals will go to work.
“We expect that actions should be taken, especially at the sub-national levels, early enough, to mitigate the impact of flooding in the country,” he added.