Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Federal Government, in collaboration with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), has completed the installation of Automated Flood Early Warning System (AFEWS) in 10 states of the country to reduce the risk of flooding through early warning signals to communities along coastal lines.
The states include Delta, Anambra, Imo, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Sokoto, Kebbi, Adamawa and Taraba, according to the national project coordinator of NEWMAP, Salisu Dahiru.
Dahiru spoke when he led the NEWMAP project team to inspect the AFEWS equipment installed in Patani River bank, in Delta State.
Represented by NEWMAP Water Resources Specialist, Engr. Anda Ayuba Yalaks, Dahiru said the installation of the equipment became necessary to give early warning signal to residents living along the coastal plain when the flood rises to particular levels.
He said the equipment being installed on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Environment was to prevent the ugly incidence of 2012 nationwide flooding that rendered millions of Nigerians homeless with attendant havoc and wanton destruction.
“This support is coming under component 2A Federal MDA effectiveness and services: to strengthen institutions and ensure the enabling environment for effective erosion and catchment management, through capacity support and provision of necessary data equipment with the view towards availability of data for decision and a more capable, modernised and coordinated federal, state, and local institutions,” he stated.
He said the installed equipment was up and running and will be hooked to satellites which will constantly transmit messages to specific websites and emails of relevant government agencies at the state and federal levels to alert them on flood early warning signal and possible immediate retreat from the coastal plain.
Project Coordinator of Delta State NEWMAP, Mr. Isaac Ufiofio, said it was no longer a news that NEWMAP intervention cuts across the three senatorial district of the state through the installation of the AFEWS in Patani to serve the riverine communities living along the coastal plain and her presence in Jesse, Obomkpa, Ukwu-Uzu, Ubulu-Uku and Owanta erosion sites.
Mr. Ufiofio, who spoke alongside the Acting Permanent Secretary, Delta State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Karo Ovemeso, noted that NEWMAP would provide necessary assistance to reduce the risk of flood and drains in the state, and tasked stakeholders in Patani community to join hands with government by protecting the installed equipment from vandals.
Lead Consultant for Cooper Research Technologies in charge of the project, Engr. Neyshabur Kanengoni, said the installed hydromet was geared towards saving the lives and property, the environment as well as sending flood early warning messages to the coastal communities on risk towards intending flooding for possible precautionary measure.
The President General, Patani Federated Community, Comrade Tony Ekise, expressed the community’s appreciation to the relevant agencies of government that facilitated the installation of the equipment in the community and appealed to them to sustain the service delivery of the equipment to stand the test of time.