The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised people living closer to Oguta Lake, and tributaries of River Niger to be ready to relocate to safer areas.
The NEMA Coordinator in-charge of Imo and Abia, Mr Evans Ugo, gave the advice in Owerri on Tuesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
Ugo said following prediction from relevant agencies, NEMA has been monitoring water levels including the Oguta Lake and other water bodies around the riverine communities in Imo and Abia.
“The visit shows that water level is beginning to rise and we deem it necessary to alert communities likely to be affected by flood to get set to relocate to safer locations, “ he said.
Ugo said the advice was to prevent loss of lives and property as recorded in 2012 when many communities across Nigeria were flooded due to devastating flooding in parts of the country.
“Actually, Nigeria Meteorological Agency predicted that this year’s rainfall will be below normal, though that there might be some flash floods, but recently NASA came up with another prediction that 24 states including Imo and Delta will record severe flooding.
“When this prediction came some people said it is a liar but again they repeated it meaning that people should get ready to forestall avoidable disaster because of the prediction.
“Generally in Abia and Imo, the most important measures we have taken is sensitisation and we have reached significant number of communities to alert them of the imminent danger based on the prediction, “ he said.
He said that an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp has been established at Egbuoma community in Oguta Local Government Area to accommodate those willing to relocate.
Ugo said NEMA was constantly checking the rise in ocean at Oguta Lake and other water bodies on a weekly monitoring basis.
The NEMA also official disclosed that more than 30 communities were recently assessed following incidences of disasters that affected the communities.
He urged the people to shun acts capable of causing disasters, adding “if the people should imbibe the right attitude, it will help to checking human-induced disasters. “
Ugo said, “environment is good or bad depends on how human beings behave, people should stop throwing solid wastes into water channels, stop communal conflicts and other negative lifestyles that cause disasters.”