The director-general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Habib Mustapha Ahmed, an engineer, has called on state governments to set up local government emergency management committees for early prevention of flood disasters from the grassroots.
Speaking Saturday when the Ekiti State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, visited him in his office, he said there was the need to start fighting disasters from the local level before it escalates.
He said the local emergency unit always helped to curb disasters from getting worse, adding that when it gets worse, state emergency management agencies intervene, and when it surpasses their efforts, the national agency steps in.
Ahmed noted that in a bid to avoid recurrence of last year’s disaster, the agency had trained state emergency management agencies’ staff on how to prevent disasters from escalating.
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He said climate prediction showed that there would be a lot of rain this year; hence early prevention was important.
He acknowledged that all stakeholders would work together to ensure a disaster- free season.
Earlier, the Ekiti State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, said the state had received the report of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), which indicated that there would be longer periods of rain this year; hence, his state has commenced prevention measures by clearing drainages and dredging, amongst others.
He said his visit was aimed at appreciating the agency in its intervention for the state so far. He also appealed for more support to help the state on prevention measures and interventions.