From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom state government has called on corporate organizations, particularly the oil and gas companies operating in the state, to partner with the government to enhance disaster management and emergency services in the state.
Mr. Moses Ekpo, the Deputy Governor, who made the call while declaring open a one-day stakeholders’ meeting on flood sensitization, emergency preparedness, mitigation and response organised by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA in collaboration with the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA in Uyo, reasoned that such measures would aid in tackling natural and man-made disasters.
Represented by his permanent secretary, Mr. Nkopuruk Ekaiko, he maintained that the meeting was a wake-up call for people to be alive to their responsibilities by making conscious efforts to desist from building on water channels, dumping refuse in the drains as well as deliberate efforts in de-silting blocked drainages in their environment.
Ekpo said that Akwa Ibom is a riverine state which is prone to flooding, and that the 2022 NIMET’s seasonal climate prediction and NIHSA annual flood outlook listed the state amongst areas in the country with a high flood risk, which prompted the state government to embark on disaster management through sensitization and other precautionary initiatives. Earlier, the Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed represented by the South-South zonal Coordinator, Mr Godwin Tepikor said with the advent of climate change, the magnitude and intensity of disaster had been on the rise across the globe, particularly in the South-South region of the country.