The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has urged Ekiti residents to obey state environmental laws to avoid the flooding that is expected to accompany heavy rains in many states, including Ekiti.
Olusegun Afolayan, Head of NEMA Operations, in charge of Ondo and Ekiti, gave the advice in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Ado-Ekiti.
Afolayan was speaking on the sidelines of a “Road Show” organized by NEMA to sensitize residents to the effects of flooding, if not avoided.
He said the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) listed Ekiti among 28 states that could be flooded due to heavy rains forecast between August and October.
The 2020 Seasonal Rain Prediction, revealed by NiMET, had projected that the rains would start on February 24 and stop on December 28 in the southern part of the country.
According to him, obeying state environmental laws will prevent them from dumping waste into waterways, canals, and drainage systems and building on floodplains.
“Floods are a natural disaster, we can only take preventive measures to avoid them and, if it happens, ensure that the impact is less, that is why this exercise.
“It is necessary to clean all the garbage thrown in the gutters so that the water flows properly and completely. We saw some channels where garbage was dumped.
“We have to notify the Ekiti State Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate the waste that was dumped into these channels,” he said.
According to him, the state government and the community should “do what is necessary”, while the governments should order their agency to clear the blocked channels.
The government should also undertake awareness-raising in communities by disseminating information about the evils of indiscriminate dumping of garbage into sewers or surrounding environments.
“This is to prevent the flood disaster predicted by NiMET, NIHSA and NEMA,” he said.
Afolayan said that Ekiti residents should be proactive and not indiscriminately dump waste down drains or public places.
He warned those living in flood-prone areas to leave those environments.
He said the road show was necessary to inform citizens about the first moves to avoid the flooding that is expected to accompany the heavy rains in the state.
The NEMA chief said that other sister agencies, the State Emergency Management Agencies, the Red Cross, some NGOs, the National Guidance Agency, joined the awareness raising to warn residents and businesses about the need to dump the waste. properly to avoid flooding.