The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), on Thursday, urged residents of Ekiti to avoid indiscriminate disposal of refuse on waterways as the rainy season sets in.
NEMA Head of Operations for Ondo, Osun and Ekiti, Mr Segun Afolayan, gave the advice at a one-day stakeholders consultative meeting on 2021 flood preparedness, mitigation and response in Ado-Ekiti.
He said the meeting was for stakeholders to discuss potential threats of flood and strategise on how to mitigate its effect in the state.
The NEMA official said it was also for early preparedness based on the prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
Afolayan said the late onset of rain and early predictions by the agency gave room for flood-prone areas to take early measures to avert loss of life and properties.
He said: “Flood is a natural disaster, we can only take preventive measures to avert it, and in case it happens, to ensure the impact is less.
“That is the reason for this meeting. There is need to clear all the refuse dumped in gutters so that water can pass through.
“The government should make sure that they clear blocked canals, embark on sensitisation of communities by disseminating information to them on the ills of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the gutters or the surrounding environments so as to avoid the imminent flood disaster as predicted by NIMET, NIHSA and NEMA,” Afolayan said.
The General Manager of Ekiti Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr Jide Borode, urged stakeholders to work together to further reduce the menace of flooding.
Borode said the state agency had been taking proactive steps to avert flood in Ekiti.
“Right now, Ekiti government is clearing drainages around the state.
” We are clearing and dredging canals as well and constructing new drainages. Right now, channelisation of the canals in Ikere and some in Ado Ekiti has been completed, while others are still ongoing.
“We are appealing to residents of the state to comply with all environmental standards and rules of the state not to dump waste on waterways, canals and drainages and not to build on flood planes,” Borode said.
Other stakeholders in attendance were the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA), the Nigeria Police Force, Non Governmental Organisations and the fire service.