2023 flood: NEMA tasks State Governors on timely preparedness

The Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Mustapha Habib Ahmed has advised stakeholders including state governments to brace up and prepare to mitigate against the likelihood of flood this year.

Mr. Ahmed gave the advice against the backdrop of the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction released last week by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), which indicated that there will be normal to above-normal rainfall in some states this year.

The NEMA helmsman who spoke in Abuja at the weekend with the hindsight of last year’s flood that devastated many communities across the States said it was imperative for States Government to support their own Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) to be operationally ready and also establish Local Emergency Committees (LEMCs) for grassroots participation in disaster management.

Addressing the participants at the end of International Disaster Management Executive Seminar for Nigerian Emergency Management Stakeholders organized by NEMA with facilitators from Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC), Mr. Ahmed said the Agency has already begun its preparation as evidenced in the capacity training seminar.

“This year I expect stakeholders including the States Government to ensure early preparation and to match words with action,” he said.

While commending the course participants and resource persons for a robust engagement, he advised the Heads of SEMAs that participated at the seminar to cascade the knowledge gained to their various states.

Mr. Ahmed said the seminar was conceived to improve capacity of disaster managers and specifically packaged to address common challenges in Nigeria with world class ideas.

A team member from BUDMC, Professor Lee Miles who spoke on behalf of the facilitators said the 5-day intense engagement covered very important and practical areas of disaster management that would benefit the nation.

Also speaking on behalf of the participants, Chairman of Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency, Hon. Walaman Sam Igrubia appreciated the NEMA Director General for the foresight in organizing the seminar.

He said that the lessons learnt would immensely benefit that states in their preparation and response to disasters. He also appealed the NEMA to sustain the kind gesture of capacity development for SEMAs.

The Seminar was organized by NEMA with facilitators from Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) United Kingdom and participants drawn from Heads of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs); all Heads of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Zonal, Territorial and Operations offices; selected staff from all departments and representatives of stakeholder agencies.

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