The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for synergy among disaster management stakeholders for quick response to flood emergencies in Niger state.
AVM Muhammadu Muhammed, NEMA Director General, made the call when he led a team from the national headquarters to the state on an advocacy visit on 2020 flood.
Muhammed, represented by Alhaji Nura Bappa, NEMA Director, Special Duties, disclosed that the visit was to interact with the State Government and stakeholders to know the level of preparedness on responding to floods.
He said that Local Government Areas (LGAs) like Suleja, Magama, Agware, Gbako, Shiroro, Bosso, Wushishi, Lavun and Lapai were flood risk areas and called on the state government to take proactive mitigation measures.
He directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), local government authorities and other response agencies to put in place preparedness action.
Responding, Gov. Sani Bello commended NEMA for its prompt intervention through the distribution of relief materials to victims of Suleja and Shiroro floods.
Bello, represented by his Deputy, Mr Ahmed Ketso, said that the state government had directed communities in high risk areas to relocate, adding that compensation had already been paid.
He said residents of the communities were farmers and appealed to the agency to assist them with farm inputs as well as visit the affected communities in Mokwa and Gbako.
At the 31 Artillery Brigade, Bridg. Gen. Jamiu Jimoh, Commander, 31 Artillery Brigade, said that the disaster unit of the command was ready to respond to floods and other disasters in terms of manpower.
Jimoh, represented by Col. Pa Izang, Commander, 31 Artillery Brigade Garrison, mentioned mobilisation of boats and life jackets, early information and inadequate collaboration with lead disasters agencies as challenges affecting quick response to flood.
Also, at the 013 Quick Response Unit of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Acting Commander Tani Auta, said the command was always ready to respond to emergency once it received signal from its headquarters.
She said that the command had intervened at Internally Displaced Persons camps and provided medical assistance to victims of casualties in some LGAs, adding that inadequate manpower was a challenge.
Our correspondent reports that the team also interacted with stakeholders from the Nigeria police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps and other stakeholders on their level of preparedness against flood.