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Flood: Edo Govt, NEMA, urge residents to relocate to higher grounds

Flood: Edo Govt, NEMA, urge residents to relocate to higher grounds

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has called on residents living on the bank of the River Niger in the state to relocate to higher ground.

The disaster agency in collaboration with the Edo State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) also urged residents living in other flood prone areas in the state to relocate to safer locations to avoid disaster.

NEMA Head of  Operations, Benin Office, Dahiru Yusuf, made the call on Monday in Benin at a stakeholders meeting organised by the agency in collaboration with Edo SEMA.

Yusuf said  the event was to ascertain the level of preparedness of all stakeholders in flood prone local government areas as well as ensure better response when compared with 2022.

“We advise the people to relocate from the flood areas because when it comes it would be devastative.

“But, we are finding it difficult to get them to move; lots of them don’t want to go to the camp.

“They don’t want to leave their ancestral home to a safer place where government would provide necessary facilities pending when the flood  subsides”.

“They should ensure that drainages are cleared and not blocked, adhere to building plan, because we have discovered some of the flood, especially not in the river bank is as a result of one construction or the other” he advised.

Yusuf said that the agency was working to ensure that the state IDP camps were in good shape, fumigated, with the necessary amenities in place to ensure that it was habitable for victims in cases of flood.

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He however, said the agency had already commenced sensitizing the local emergency committee on what to do to mitigate the effect of flood.

Earlier, the head, Edo State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA), Helen Obayuwana, said the state government was worried as  NIMET prediction had added three additional local government areas  prone to flood in the state.

“We must recognize that flood prevention is key and by  investing in robust infrastructure, early warning systems, and land-use planning, we can significantly reduce the vulnerability of our communities to floods,”.

She noted that adequate drainage systems and well- maintained canals could help channel water safely and prevent catastrophic flooding.

She added that flood preparedness, mitigation and response were not the sole responsibility of governments and emergency response services, charging individuals and communities to take step to safe guard their homes.

The Voice Media Trust (VMT NEWS), reports that the meeting was attended by representatives of the Nigeria Army, Air Force, Police, FRSC, NSCDC, Red Cross, Edo SEMA and representative of flood prone local government areas.

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