WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has said it has commenced proactive measures to save residents from flood and other natural disasters.
The deputy governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, said the measures included enlightenment of the populace, moral and material support for disaster response agencies, among others.
He also explained that the state government would aid the state fire services in providing emergency and prompt response services, to areas and individuals affected by natural disasters.
Egbeyemi gave the assurance on Tuesday, while receiving the Head of Operation, National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), Ekiti State, Mr Olusegun Afolayan, in his office in Ado Ekiti the State capital.
Egbeyemi stressed that the state government through State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had embarked on sensitisation programmes that would discourage the people from blocking drainages with refuse and sewage that can prevent the free flow of water during this raining season.
This was a sequel to the forecast by the Nigerian Meteorological Agencies (NIMET) that over 20 states of the federation would be overrun by massive floods in the month of September.
Egbeyemi who commended the efforts of NEMA across the country in bringing succour to natural disaster victims, urged the officials to shun nepotism, sectionalism and be fair to all disaster victims irrespective of their tribe, ethnicity, and location.
The deputy governor also added that the state government through SEMA was mobilising all forces to ensure that the state is clean and to avert the 2019 flood prediction through the provision of waste bin to houses.
Egbeyemi promised that the state government would ensure full compliance with NEMA directives and advice that would make the state safe from flood and other imminent natural disasters.
Earlier in his address, Afolayan explained that the essence of his visit to Ekiti State was to seek the assistance of the state government in creating enabling environment for a functional SEMA, Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs)and other stakeholders in the States.
The NEMA Head of Operation in the state who commended the state government for cooperating with the agency in responding and tackling of disaster challenges, said the vision of the agency was to build a culture of preparedness, mitigation, response and community resilience to disaster in Nigeria.
While disclosing that the agency recently embarked on repositioning, restructuring and reengineering its activities in tackling disaster challenges, Afolayan noted that concerted efforts and active collaboration were needed between all emergency response services to provide a viable disaster rescue response to the distressed.
Afolayan stressed that all hands must be on deck to mitigate and respond to imminent flood disaster that might likely occur as a result of heavy rain fall as predicted by NIMET, and NIHSA 2019 Annual Flood Outlook.
The NEMA Ekiti Boss further appealed the state government to fund SEMA and fire services to make them more proactive and provide operational vehicles to them to enhance their performance during intervention.
Afolayan wanted the state government to produce media jingles that would sensitise and enlighten the people of the state against indecent dumping of refuse in gutters and deviate from blocking waters ways to avert flood disasters.