The National Emergency Management Agency on Monday released a report stating that about 372 deaths were recorded in the last eight months due to flash floods in 33 states in Nigeria.
Director-General, NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, disclosed this at the inauguration of new operational vehicles and specialised equipment at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
He says, “In the last eight months, floods in Nigeria; mostly flash floods, have inundated 33 out of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“It affected over 508,000 persons, leading to about 372 deaths, 277 injured persons, destruction of about 37,633 houses, loss of a huge number of livestock and several farmland have been submerged.
“This is mostly in Adamawa, Jigawa, Taraba, Kano, Bauchi, Niger, Anambra and Ebonyi states. These have been accompanied by other derivative disasters.”
Ahmed said the current trends in hazards identification, risk mapping and actual disasters had shown increasing instances of structural collapses, fuel tanker explosions, other road crashes and fire outbreaks. He said these were either isolated disasters or derivative disasters in the raining season and were mostly characterised by floods.
“In recent weeks, devastating floods have ravaged countries such as South Africa, Pakistan, India, Japan, the Gambia, Italy and a host of other countries including Nigeria,” he said.
The NEMA boss added, “The calamities that trailed these floods makes it imperative to identify gaps in the national inventories of disaster management equipment and technology in Nigeria.
“This consideration informed the decision of NEMA to prioritise the enhancement of it’s fleet of operational vehicles and urban search and rescue specialised equipment.”
Ahmed said the agency had begun to venture into the realms of proactive and predictive disaster risk management in line with best practices.
He added, “No doubt, the effort at new acquisitions will close existing gaps, meet the current operational cum tactical challenges faced by actors responding to emergencies in the field, increase the agency’s asset base in preparedness at the headquarters and across the zonal, territorial and operational offices”.