Politics

Lagos, Edo, A’Ibom, Ebonyi plan camps for flood victims

…put measures in place for safety, Sokoto, Delta to relocate residents from flood-prone areas

NEMA mum as floods ravage 10 states

Some state governments are planning to arrange camps for residents displaced by the present flooding ravaging a number of communities within the nation, Saturday PUNCH can affirm.

This is as no fewer than 10 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have both skilled numerous levels of flooding, or recorded casualties because the rains intensified.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof Joseph Utsev, who issued the pink alert throughout a press briefing in Abuja, warned that 21 extra states would possibly expertise flooding.

He acknowledged this in opposition to the background of the downpour on Wednesday, which grounded enterprise and business actions in Lagos and Ogun states.

The ensuing flooding introduced down a two-storey constructing within the Mushin space of Lagos and overwhelmed residents, whereas pupils couldn’t attend faculties in components of the state. Additionally, a pupil was swept away by the flooding within the Ketu space of Lagos.

Utsev defined that the Annual Flood Outlook by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, launched in April, had predicted that 148 native authorities areas in 31 states fell inside the excessive flood danger areas.

The affected states embody Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Kebbi. Others are Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and Yobe.

We could reopen IDP camps – Lagos

Reacting to the latest flooding, the Lagos State authorities mentioned it might reopen its camps to accommodate victims displaced by the flood.

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, disclosed this in an interview with Saturday PUNCH.

This comes on the heels of the Federal Government’s warning to states to brace for extra floods.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation had issued a pink alert to 21 states, warning that they may endure flooding.

The warning got here in opposition to the background of Wednesday’s downpour, which grounded enterprise and business actions in Lagos and Ogun states.

Speaking on the preparedness of Lagos State for flooding, Oke-Osanyintolu suggested residents dwelling in flood-prone areas to briefly relocate. He added that the federal government would begin the demolition of constructions alongside water channels.

“What we’re experiencing in Lagos is a flash flood. This means when it’s raining, individuals have to remain in a protected place.

“Then, after the rain is over, they can start moving about.”

He additionally appealed to Lagosians to abide by these guidelines and laws.

He added, “In Lagos State, we’re being empathetic. We don’t discuss demolition; what we’re doing is to make sure that we take away any type of obstruction that may result in flooding in any space.

“If a building is constructed in such a way that it impedes the free flow of water, it will definitely be removed. “This is what the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources is doing, in collaboration with the building control agency.”

Oke-Osanyintolu additionally famous that Lagos had some everlasting aid camps in a number of areas within the state.

“We have one in Lagos West, at Igando. We have one other in Agbowa. All these present that we’re prepared for any eventuality.

 “If want be, we are going to open these camps. We have accomplished it earlier than, in 2010. We opened the camps to care for those that have been displaced. In 2012, we opened the camps once more for displaced individuals. So, if want be, we are going to do it once more.

“Residents living in vulnerable areas need to leave, and those who built their structures in such a way that prevents the free flow of water should relocate,” Oke-Osanyintolu famous.

Ebonyi plans relocation

The Ebonyi State authorities acknowledged that it has already supplied a spot for displaced residents to remain in the course of the flooding. The state authorities additionally warned residents in flood-prone areas to take heed to their actions and keep away from practices able to endangering their lives amidst the present incidents of flooding within the nation.

The state emergency administration company additionally disclosed that it had been organising sensitisation campaigns to alert residents of measures to undertake to stop flooding of their environs. The Public Relations Officer of the SEMA, Mr Donatus Nwebonyi, in a phone interview with Saturday PUNCH on Friday, mentioned, “The Ebonyi State Government has already supplied a spot for these prone to be affected by flooding in case of any emergency.

“However, we’re nonetheless anticipating some aid supplies from Abuja via the National Emergency Management Agency for individuals who have already been affected.

“NEMA usually provides relief materials for people affected by natural disasters.”

He added that 4 native authorities areas within the state had been predicted as flood-prone in 2024 by the Federal Government. These 4 native authorities areas are Abakaliki, Afikpo, Ikwo, and Izzi.

A’Ibom points pink alert

As a part of measures taken to sort out flooding within the state, the Akwa Ibom State Government mentioned it had reactivated its Emergency Protocol Management System and commissioned a visit to the estuaries to evaluate the state of the banks.

The State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Ini Ememobong, who spoke with considered one of our correspondents in Uyo, mentioned the state had additionally reactivated the well being protocol required to deal with all well being points arising from flooding. He mentioned, “We have reactivated the Emergency Protocol Management System, that means that gutters and drainages have to be desilted, which is why you see that sanitation train is ongoing.

“We commissioned a trip to the estuaries where the banks are to assess their condition, and have reactivated the necessary health protocols because, as you know, as soon as flooding occurs, it becomes a health issue. Agriculture, internal security, and information departments are on board to ensure that emergency issues are tackled.”

Edo’s plan

The Edo State Commissioner for Public Safety and Security, Kingsley Uwagbale, has mentioned that the state will overview and replace its flood administration plan from final 12 months to fight incidents of flooding. He famous that Edo State didn’t expertise flooding final 12 months and that the state would research this 12 months’s flood projections to allow it sort out the difficulty.

He mentioned, “We will do what we did final 12 months and make sure that individuals in areas vulnerable to flooding are both evacuated, or we put in place sufficient resistance to comprise the flood.

“There was no flooding in Edo last year, because we implemented our flood management plan. This year, we will review that plan vis-a-vis the predictions and see if we are exposed or not. If we are exposed, we will address those areas, but I can assure you that Edo State is prepared for flood management.”

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Kaduna sensitises residents

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government, via the State Emergency Management Agency, has convened a gathering of stakeholders to analyse the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook launched by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency.

The Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Mohammed Shehu, mentioned the state had launched into sensitisation of communities in flood-prone areas, utilizing conventional and non secular leaders in addition to different stakeholders to teach residents on the risks of flooding, and find out how to avert pure disasters.

Additionally, the governor’s spokesman talked about that the state had arrange a cell courtroom to prosecute residents who indiscriminately dump refuse in drainages. Shehu additionally acknowledged that his principal had accredited the acquisition of aid objects to be prepositioned as a part of preparedness in opposition to any flood incidents.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH in Kaduna on Friday, Shehu mentioned, “KADSEMA has activated its contingency plan, which is a state working document on emergency preparedness and response. The document outlines the responsibilities of each stakeholder. A template is prepared to gather information on the level of preparedness of each stakeholder towards mitigating the impact of the flood in 2024. KADSEMA has trained its volunteer divers and held a series of simulation exercises across the state and vulnerable communities.”

Anambra warns 11 LGs

The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency has issued early warning indicators to residents of flood-prone communities within the state to keep away from accidents and the lack of lives and properties. The Public Relations Officer, SEMA, Chinyere Nwoye, mentioned the devastating impacts of floods in Anambra over time, particularly in 2012 and 2022, had served as a wake-up name to residents and significant businesses to collaborate with NEMA and SEMA to handle flood disasters and their related hazards.

Nwoye listed the flood-prone communities to incorporate Ogbaru, Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum, Idemili North, Onitsha North, Nnewi North, Idemili South, Onitsha South, Ihiala, and Ekwusigo native authorities areas. She mentioned the company, via the state authorities, conventional rulers, and significant businesses, had intensified efforts in sensitising the individuals and establishing measures to stop and mitigate any flood emergencies.

‘Relocate to higher grounds’

Residents in lowland and flood-prone areas of Delta State have been known as upon to relocate to larger floor in view of the approaching flood, following earlier warnings from the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency. The Delta State Government, whereas giving the directive, mentioned it was involved in regards to the lives and property of residents dwelling in flood-prone areas.

The state authorities, nonetheless, maintained that all the things humanly attainable was being accomplished to mitigate the challenges anticipated from the approaching flood.

The State Commissioner for Environment, Ejiro Tommy, particularly disclosed that the federal government “had started working out plans for local government areas that were flood-prone zones with earlier awareness campaigns and sensitization.”

Sokoto warns residents 

As a part of measures to curtail any attainable flooding in Sokoto State, officers of the Sokoto Environmental Management Agency have launched into sensitisation of individuals dwelling in flood-prone areas. An official of the company, who spoke with our correspondent on situation of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the press, mentioned the crew had been transferring from one neighborhood to a different, informing these dwelling shut to those areas of the hazard of floods.

Measures in place– Ondo

The Ondo State Government has mentioned there isn’t a trigger for alarm relating to the difficulty of flooding within the state, stating that measures had been put in place to stop the incidence of floods. The state Commissioner for Environment, Oyeniyi Oseni, whose ministry supervises the State Emergency Management Agency, mentioned the state authorities had been proactive, and steps have been being taken to make sure no flood incidents are recorded within the state.

He mentioned, “We have put several measures in place to prevent flooding across the state. We are stepping up our waste collection and disposal mechanism. We have commenced our channelisation programme called ‘Operation Flush’ to allow the free flow of water. We have put in place measures to evacuate about 100km of drainage across the state.”

Kwara govt expands river course

Additionally, the Kwara State Government mentioned it had launched into the enlargement of Asa River and different river programs in areas vulnerable to flooding within the state. The Secretary to the State Government, Prof Saba Mamman-Jubril, mentioned that the federal government had taken proactive measures in areas listed by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency as inclined areas within the state.

Mamman-Jubril mentioned that the federal government had launched into the development of a dyke or levee, an embankment alongside a riverbank or coastal shoreline to stop the move of floodwaters, whereas these dwelling close to the river had been suggested to maneuver from the world. He mentioned there was a necessity for frequent dredging, constructing extra buffers, and afforestation to stem the risks of flooding in communities.

NEMA mum

The National Emergency Management Agency has remained silent amid the ravaging floods which have devastated and killed many individuals in 10 states.

Several efforts since Thursday to grasp what the company was doing to assist mitigate the impression of the 2024 flood didn’t obtain optimistic response. Instead, officers of the company have repeatedly claimed to be busy with out offering solutions on what NEMA is doing to assist ameliorate the state of affairs.

After a number of makes an attempt by our correspondent to get a response from NEMA on the way it was tackling the emergency, the spokesperson of the company, Ezekiel Manzo, mentioned he was busy.

“I am deeply sorry. We are very busy in Kaduna and expecting the Vice President for a function shortly,” was his response on Friday to enquiries despatched to him each on Thursday and Friday.

Lagosians rely losses

Following a downpour that grounded enterprise and business actions on Wednesday in numerous components of Lagos State, residents have recounted the losses and harm they suffered. Although the state authorities mentioned the rain lasted for 9 hours, in some components of the state, the rain lasted for greater than 10 hours.

The downpour resulted in flooding that introduced down a two-storey constructing within the Mushin space of Lagos and grounded vehicular motion on the roads, main many automobile house owners to resort to car mechanics to repair the harm incurred.

Saturday PUNCH gathered that the areas affected by the flood included Ojodu Berger, Ikeja, Ogba, Bariga, and Iba, amongst others, with residents lamenting that the rain additionally broken their family home equipment.

A resident of Awenla Street, in Bariga, Mr Olayode Ogunsanya, advised considered one of our correspondents who visited the world on Thursday that his home was among the many properties badly affected by the downpour. He mentioned, “The downpour was very extreme. It entered all our rooms on this constructing. As you’ll be able to see, some tenants are nonetheless clearing out the soiled rainwater from their rooms.

“For some people, it took them till midnight yesterday (Wednesday) before they could clear out the flood. It affected their properties such as mattresses and others. The wind that accompanied the rain also affected the roofs of some of the rooms. I just sat down here thinking of how to fix them before it rains again.”

Recounting her loss, one of many tenants within the space, Mrs Bose Onayemi, mentioned it had been a very long time since her room was affected by a downpour, however the latest one broken many devices in her condo, together with a brand new plasma TV and mattress.

“For the previous 10 years, rain has not entered my room. But this final downpour was very critical and I used to be badly affected. Unfortunately, it spoilt the brand new plasma TV that we simply purchased. And, it was as a result of we didn’t know that the rain could be that heavy, not to mention assume that it could enter the home. So, the tv was nonetheless on the ground when the rain started.

 “You know the downpour began at midnight. Before I may get up to grasp what was taking place, it had entered all of the rooms in the home. So my kids and I began packing the water. We did that until this morning.

“The rainwater soaked my mattress and affected the wood. That is why I brought them out to dry this afternoon. But, when I took the new television to the repair shop earlier today, I was told the rain had spoilt it. I just left it there. It is a sad one,” she lamented.

Another resident within the Iyana Iba space, Niyi Okeowo, acknowledged that the downpour destroyed his property, blaming the ugly improvement on the dearth of a deliberate drainage system within the space.

Niyi mentioned, “I am not happy that this rain ruined all my property. It destroyed my bed and a lot of other things. I now walk through water in my room and compound. I just believe we don’t have a good drainage system. If we did, it wouldn’t be this bad.”

Additional experiences: Okechukwu Nnodim, Edward Nnachi, Godwin Isenyo, Muhammed Lawal, Dele Ogunyemi, Uthman Abubakar, Peter Dada and Animasahun Salman

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