The FCT Emergency Management Agency has urged Abuja residents to stay alert to predictions issued by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency.
On Friday, the agency’s director-general Abbas Idriss stated this at the ‘2021 Annual Flood Review and Preparedness Meeting with 150 Divers, Community Vanguard, Local Emergency Committees, and Town Criers’.
Mr. Idriss explained that the predictions as issued by the two agencies have implications on various sectors of the economy, be it agriculture, transportation, water resources, communication, energy, other critical sectors, and disaster management.
”This calls for greater preparedness by all. One of the key objectives of this meeting is to strongly draw the attention of all members of communities to take the 2021 flood predictions for the FCT seriously,” he said.
Mr. Idriss further stated that FEMA would use town criers at the community level, in addition to electronic media, to carry out flood sensitization and awareness campaign, especially in remote communities.
”The effectiveness of this approach justifies our invitation of town criers to be part of this forum today. It is equally important to state here that at the area council level, local emergency management committees are saddled with the responsibility of implementing ‘Disaster Risk Reduction programs, including flood prevention, mitigation, and response at the grassroots,” he explained.
Mr. Idriss restated the commitment of FEMA to train and retrain divers, community vanguard and town criers, and provision of modern operational gear to boost their capacity as first responders in various communities.
Speaking on behalf of the local divers, Halidu Abdulkadir, from Gwagwalada Area Council, stressed the need for FEMA to equip the divers with the necessary tools to discharge their responsibilities effectively.