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Flood: Yobe, Adamawa, Borno take steps to mitigate impact

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Flood: Yobe, Adamawa, Borno take steps to mitigate impact

Yobe, Adamawa and Borno State Governments have taken steps to mitigate flooding this rainy season following warning from relevant agencies.

The Voice Media Trust (VMT NEWS) reports that parts of the states were among those listed by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) for possible flooding.

Already in Yobe, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), had advised communities residing on river banks to move to higher ground as a preventive measure against flood.

Mohammed Goje, the agency’s Executive Secretary, said the relocation became necessary because of the recent prediction by the NiMET.

Goje said the agency had organised a 2023 flood preparedness meeting with 13 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and development partners to avert the impending disaster.

“During the meeting, we resolved that while community mobilisation and awareness on flood and Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD)/Cholera is ongoing across the state, there is a need to scale up the information sessions.

“SEMA, WASH Sector, ministry of Health, ministry of Information and NOA to meet bilaterally and work out modalities of increasing awareness raising sessions across the state.

“NiMet, Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NiHSA) vis-a-vis National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) dissemination for the country and state outlook, have shown areas of concern, and called for action.

“ Gov. Mai Mala Buni has since the dissemination of the flood prediction outlook, directed SEMA to intensify action and ensure that prevention and mitigation measures are activated to reduce impact,” the Executive Secretary said.

Goje said the 2023 flood warning came at a time when communities vulnerability was high due to the impact of the 2022 flood.

“ The 2022 floods had created huge gaps and challenges as the impact of the disaster on crop production and displacements, among other challenges, increased vulnerability of the affected population,” he said.

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The executive secretary said the agency, in collaboration with UN – OCHA, had also visited four local government areas of Jakusko, Bade, Nguru and Karasuwa as part of the response.

Goje said the visit focused on community consultation and engagement through Focus Group Discussion (FGD), targeting the local authorities, community/religious leaders, youths and women groups.

“The objective of the visit is to share previous experiences and the threats posed by 2022 flood disaster.

“To discuss risks factors, assess level of vulnerabilities, coping strategies, impacts, strengths, gaps, and as well review what the LGA and community are doing.

“Key deliberations were made and findings will be shared with the appropriate authorities for action and or mitigation plans,” he said.

The excutive secretary said the development partners would subsequently visit Geidam, Gulani, Gujba, Bursari and Tarmuwa local government areas for the response.

SEMA had earlier confirmed that in 2022, flood had displaced 6,592 persons, killed 75 others, while over 200 persons were injured in the disaster.

In Adamawa, the Executive Director of SEMA, Ibrahim Umar, said measures in place in flood prone local government areas in collaboration with the local government councils.

Umar said that evacuation of heap of refuse to ensure that water was allowed free passage during the rainy season, while additional water ways had been constructed in some of the flood prone areas.

He said that the agency had also engaged in aggressive media sensitization campaign against erection of structures that would prevent the free passage of water.

According to him, the administration of Gov Ahmadu Fintiri had also since directed all those living in flood prone areas to relocate to safer places to avoid being submerged by flood.

In Borno, the State Environmental Protection Agency (BOSEPA) has embarked on drain and waste clearance exercise to control perennial flooding.

The General Manager of the Agency, Abubakar Suleiman, said the exercise was implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other stakeholders.

He said the exercise was also designed to clear drains and water ways to destroy mosquito lava as well as address diseases associated with poor hygiene and sanitation.

The manager said that Gov. Babagana Zulum had constituted a committee on flooding with mandate to identify areas prone to flooding for necessary action to tackle the menace.

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