The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has exhorted governments to be prepared ahead of disasters so as to spend less than required when the disaster occurs.
The Zonal Coordinator of NEMA North West, Abbani Garki gave the advice while presenting a paper titled, “Flood And Its Associated Impact- The Role Of The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)” at a One-Day Stakeholders Consultative Meeting in Kaduna.
“The importance of preparedness in disaster risk reduction can never be over emphasized.
“If you spend ten Naira on media campaign, it would save you double the amount spent on Intervention,” he submitted.
He revealed that flood can bring about positve and negative impacts, like leading to building structures that resist flood, while the negative impact includes loss of lives, physical damages and spread of diseases.
In addition, he said electrity and water supply chains are disrupted, broken bridges and roads also affect supply to markets.
“Hazardous things can be washed into the water, causing outbreak of diseases, like the 2012 flood caused a lot of damages, financial loss and diversion of resources.
“It increases poverty, leads to migration, displacement of people, food shortages and insecurity.
After 2018 flood it led to food shortages,” he said.
Garki explained that flood prone areas are very low land areas, of lower topography.
“People that go to construct houses in such areas are at risk of flooding.
“People close to sea or rivers, areas of poor urban planning without drainages or sufficient drainages are also flood prone areas,” he added.
On what to do before flooding, he said that clearing of waterways and drainages, identify high grounds and move there, as well as remove all valuables and stockpile relief materials for efficient response.
He further advised that drainages, dams and bridges construction help to mitigate impact of flooding.
“Sensitisation and early warning for early action is also important,” he added.
During flooding, he said measures like thinking safety first is important.
“Take care when walking through shallow water. Six inches of water could be dangerous. Turn off electrity and gas supply when evacuating, move to a higher and safer ground, carry only valuable items, assist the most vulnerable.
“Your life is more valuable than anything, as such, carry only valuable when moving like documents, before any other thing.
“Don’t attempt to walk or drive across bridges because they may collapse.
“After flooding, conduct an assessment, support appropriate victims, reconstruct or rehabilitate in a durable and sustainable way,” he advised.
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