The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that the country will experience another round of floods in many states this year, but that early preparations have been made to avoid the mistakes of the past.
The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Ahmed, made this announcement at an executive seminar for NEMA employees and senior members of staff selected from State Emergency Management Agencies and critical disaster management stakeholders.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the event, Ahmed said, “This is January and by tomorrow (Tuesday), NiMet (Nigeria Meteorological Agency) is releasing their seasonal climate prediction and after that I believe that in the next week or two, NIHSA (Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency) will release their own flood outlook.
And immediately after that we will gather stakeholders to critically analyze the reports and interpret it and attach it with the vulnerable areas mapping, and send it out to states.”
He added that the agency is starting early this year because they have identified mistakes made in the past and that they will work together and collaborate with all states to prevent these mistakes from happening again. Ahmed also mentioned that 662 people were killed by the devastating flood situation in 2022, adding that state governors would be informed early this year about disaster-prone areas.
When asked whether NEMA was interfacing with the Nigeria Governors Forum on how to manage floods in states, Ahmed replied in the affirmative and stressed that there would be floods this year.
He said, “When we finish with this (seminar), and NiMet releases its climate prediction, and NIHSA releases its own outlook, and we analyze them and then conduct the vulnerable areas mapping, we will then interact with the governors directly, all of them.”
He also mentioned that they don’t only do this once, but they identify likely areas of disaster. Ahmed said, “It is going to flood again this year, there is no doubt about that. It is going to flood. How severe it will be is what we don’t know for now, but it’s actually going to flood again.”
In his address during the event, Ahmed said that the devastating 2022 flood disaster across the country was unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. The Federal Government urges the citizens to be vigilant and to take all the necessary precautions.