The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has started the distribution of relief items to victims affected by flood in six local government areas of Jigawa.
The Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Habib, was represented by the Coordinator, NEMA Kano Territorial Office, Mr Nura Abdullahi, at the event.
According to him, the benefiting local government areas are Hadejia, Kirikasamma, Kafinhausa, Birniwa, Kaugama, and Malammadori.
said that the relief items were: 7,650 bags of rice, 6,450 bags of maize, 950 of 20litres of vegetable oil, 530 cartons of seasoning, 50 bags of 20kg salt, and 6,000 bags of cement.
Others are 4,400 bundles of roofing sheet, 900 bags of 3inch nails, 1,100 packets of zinc nails, 2,900 pieces of ceiling board, 2,900 pieces of blanket, and 5,900 pieces of nylon mat.
He said that floods and windstorms had led to the death of several people and the destruction of houses and other infrastructure in different parts of the state since the 2022 rainy season started.
Habib noted that floods were among the most devastating natural disasters in the world that had claimed more lives and damaged more properties than other natural phenomena.
He explained that in Nigeria, though not leading in terms of claiming lives, floods had affected and displaced more people than any other disaster; they also had caused more damage to properties.
The D-G added that at least 20 per cent of the population was at risk from one form of flooding or another.
He said that in 2021, floods occurred in nearly all the states of the federation, with severe consequences in at least 23 states including Jigawa.
Habib stated that the 2022 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) forecasted that 233 LGAs in 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory are within highly probable flood risk areas.
He added that 212 LGAs in 35 states of the federation were within moderately probable flood risk areas.
According to him, already, the agency is inundated with reports of flood disasters in several local government areas in more than 17 states and is still counting.
“This should be taken as a “wake-up call” for each and every one of us to brace up to the reality of climate change and the need for comprehensive, all-inclusive, and people-centered measures, to mitigate its negative impact.
Habib also stated that the agency under the guidance and support of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, would embark on a comprehensive flood risk management plan.
He said that the plan would help to substantially reduce potential loss of lives, property damage, and interruption of livelihood and economic activities.
He added that to be able to respond timely and efficiently in a coordinated way against flooding, all the three tiers of government must be prepared, and develop plans that consider the vulnerable groups.
They must project full impacts and consequences and acquire contingency stock filing, he added.
He called on states and local governments to empower their respective State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and Local Government Emergency Management Committees (LGEMCs).
He said that would enable them to coordinate with other stakeholders, prepare a workable plan, have enough contingency stock files, and generate the needed awareness among the population.
According to him, responding to floods and all other disaster issues is a collective responsibility, where Federal, state, and local governments, as well as communities, have complementary roles to play.
He said that when a disaster had overwhelmed a community, the local government that the state should be invited to intervene.
He added that NEMA should only be requested to intervene in situations that the community, local, and state governments’ efforts could not provide the needed succour.
The D-G commended Gov. Muhammed Badaru for his effort toward strengthening disaster management architecture in the state.
“It is under his stewardship that Jigawa is now among the only four states of the federation with functional local government management committees.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Yusuf Sani, commended the agency for its prompt action to support the victims.
“This is coming before we even completed the assessment of damage and compiling a comprehensive list of affected victims.
“We appreciated NEMA for this gesture and we are still counting the number of persons affected. We will extend similar gestures to all of them as more intervention comes in,” Sani said.
Speaking on behalf of the benefiting local government areas, the Chairman of Hadejia Council, Alhaji Abdulkadir Umar, thanked the agencies for the gesture and assured fair distribution of the items to the victims.