NEMA sensitises Abia communities on impending flood disaster

The National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) on Thursday began the sensitisation against impending 2024 flood disaster in Abia communities.
The programme tagged: “2024 Downscaling of Flood Early Warning Strategies for Early Actions in Abia State,” was held in Umuahia.


A group photograph of NEMA and Abia State Government officials.
The Director-General, NEMA, Mrs. Zubaida Umar, in a speech at the event, said that the initiative was to save lives and livelihoods during the rainy season.
The NEMA boss, represented by Dr. Martins Ejike, Acting, Director, Human Resources Management, NEMA Headquartres, Abuja, said that Abia had in the past been severely impacted by flood in terms of areal coverage, severe losses and damage as well as fatalities.
Umar said that the devastating impacts of flood over the years, especially that of 2012 and 2022, had served as a wake-up call to all tiers of governments to collaborate with NEMA to manage disaster risks and associated hazards.
A cross section of participants.


She commended the Governor of Abia, Dr. Alex Otti, for all the measures put in place by the State Government to reduce the risk of the avoidable losses in the state.
Umar said: “For the 2024 rainy season, some Local Government Areas of Abia State are still predicted to be affected by flooding.
 “These LGAs  are under High and Moderate Flood Risk Areas
“These are already listed in the earlier NEMA communication to the Government of Abia State.
“This underscores this flag off, in Abia State today.”
 Umar called for government support in the initiative of downscaling flood early warning and risk mitigation messages to the grassroots.
Making a presentation on the preparedness and downscaling messages on 2024 flood forecast, Mr.  Samuel Bitrus, said that 11 of the 17 local government areas in Abia would be affected by the flood.
Presentation by Mr. Samuel Bitrus, Assistant Director, General Services, NEMA.


Bitrus, an Assistant Director, General Services, NEMA,  said that it was  according to the predictions by the Nigerian Metereological Agency and the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency.
In a remark, the governor commended NEMA for choosing Abia as one of the states in the federation to flag off a sensitisation exercise.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Philemon Ogbonna, said that the exercise was in line his vision to recreate Abia.
According to him, this is evident in the on-going massive construction and reconstruction of roads and drainages, in addition to erosion control measures.


NEMA officials during an interaction with participants.
He insisted that it was all targeted at mitigating the ravaging impact of massive flooding during rainy seasons in the state.
Also, Dr Sunday Jackson, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), thanked NEMA for choosing Abia for the all-important exercise.
He also commended the governor for the proactive measures already taking to mitigate the impact of flooding, including the massive construction of drainages and others.
According to him, the governor has also directed that we should embark on awareness creation and making sure that people evacuate  areas prone to flooding.
He said: “As we speak, over 20 communities in Abia are already affected by flooding.
“Some have been submerged, including building collapse in Ukwa West LGA.
“If we can have up to 20 communities in June, that means I’m July to September, it is going to be very serious.
“I still appeal to NEMA for more interventions because the magnitude of flood disaster in Abia is far beyond the capacity of the state to cope.”
Some officials of the State Government and different local government areas were present at the event.