The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned that no fewer than 11 local government Areas in Rivers State might experience severe flooding during the rainy season this year and called on the state government to identify designated Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
South-South Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Ibarakumo Walson who disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, said the warning became necessary following a recent forecast by the Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET).
Walson further said that the flooding being expected this year would supersede that of 2018.
According to him, The outlook placing emphasis that this year may likely be worst, the communities that are at high risk are Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Andoni, Abua/Odual, Ahoada East and Ahoada West, Akuku-Toru, Asari-Toru, Bonny, Gokana, Ogu/Bolo, Okrika, Opobo/Nkoro and Port Harcourt City.
”Others are Etche, Oyigbo and Tai. Of the 23 Local government areas in Rivers, these are the areas that are likely to be seriously flooded,” the NEMA Zonal Coordinator, South South stated.
He said further: “So what we (NEMA) are doing before it happens is that we go round in each of the Local government area involving the council authorities as well as the state government to create awareness.
Walson therefore advised the Rivers State government to set up emergency procedures to mitigate the impending flooding, pointing out that the local and state governments are the first respondents in emergency cases.
”In the ones we go, we do what is called on the spot assessment, recommendations include the provision of relief materials as well.
”It is not the Federal Government that people should look up to, emergency affects everybody, we call on the state government to also do their part because in a big country like Nigeria, you do not expect only the federal government to intervene and it depends on the intensity of the management too.
“There are some situations that if you call NEMA, the FG, they will not even come. The federal government expects the local government to intervene first,” he stated.