Measures are being put in place by States to assuage flood effects.
The Cameroonian government had in a letter addressed to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, weekend, warned of its intention to release water from the Lagdo dam and asked the agency to take precautionary measures.
However, states, some of which are on the frontline of flooding caused by the release of water from the dam, said they had already started taking steps to prevent loss of lives and destruction of properties. Such states, including Lagos, Benue, and Delta, have also asked people living in flood-prone areas to relocate to higher grounds.
Reacting to the alert from the Cameroon government yesterday, the Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Emergency Management Authority, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, assured of the state government’s preparedness to promptly tackle any possible emergency that could arise from the impending flood in the state.
According to him, the state government has provided LASEMA with 144 units of facilities that could accommodate 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the event of an emergency. He said: “Lagos is well prepared. As you can see, LASEMA has changed from management to holistic emergency management. What we mean here is that we have moved into the improved strategy of clearing canals and ensuring local governments have their local response, called Environmental Guard.
“The purpose is to ensure effective clearing of tertiary drainages and environmental gang clearing the secondary drainage, thereby complementing each other simultaneously. “We have met with the 57 local government chairmen on the need to put all primary emergency responders on alert. We are fine-tuning and strengthening our local response mechanism. ‘We have carried out risk analyses, resource mappings, and opened directories in each council to know the vulnerable people in terms of emergency situations.
All these measures are geared towards ensuring swift, prompt, and effective responses. “We are carrying out enlightenment and sensitization programs to get residents prepared across the councils. “The type of flood we have in Lagos called flash floods disappears within 30 minutes and one hour due to improved infrastructure and machinery in place. We are prepared.”