By Chimezie Godfrey
The Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Sadiya Farouq has inaugurated the inter-ministerial Committee towards disaster risk reduction of flooding hazards in the country.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Minister said that the Committee is to activate efforts towards developing a National Multi-sectoral Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD) to provide inter-ministerial coordination towards this exercise given the Ministry’s mandate to develop humanitarian policies and coordination of National and International humanitarian interventions”.
“FMHADMSD is to ensure strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response as well as manage the formulation and implementation of equity focused social inclusion and protection programmes in Nigeria.
“Since February 2020, the Ministry has played a vital role in monitoring floods and calling stakeholders for action in response to the 2020 seasonal rainfall prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
“Subequent analysis was performed by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), within the Disaster Risk Management Prediction.
“This implication report already emphasizes the multi-sectoral implication and impact of the 2020 floods on agriculture and food security, water resources, health and the transport and infrastructure sectors, and proffers actionable recommendations for each stakeholder and relevant MDA,” she stated.
Farouq disclosed that NEMA has put together several mechanism for managing flooding.
“There have been sensitization/advocacy visits to State Governments to assess the level of preparedness and response, search and rescue operations, and the distribution of relief materials and livelihood support for vulnerable persons and households affected.
“The report that NEMA have generated from the management of 2020 flooding are essential for providing context and case studies relevant for the development of this plan,” The Minister explained.
She mentioned that the high level inter-ministerial committee consists of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Information.
Others are Federal Fire Service, National Orientation Agency, Nigerian Security Civil Defence Corps ,National Institute of Hydrological Service Agency, Nigerian Meteorological Agency and National Emergency Management Agency.
Farouq also disclosed that the Inter-ministerial Committee will work with the following terms of reference:
“Review and adopt the terms of reference of the high-level committee and the other committees.
“Identify critical technical stakeholders to form the membership of the Technical Sub-Committee.
“Set and approve realistic timelines to developing the new Plan.
“Share information on the 2020 response to flooding (thus far) and understand existing disaster management resources that provide the framework for Flooding disasters.
“Receive briefing on the efforts of various stakeholders MDAS,” she stated.
Also speaking, the DG of (NIHSA) Engr. Clement Onyeaso Nze, that the Agency is doing everything possible in making sure that the root cause of flood are tackled, as opposed to just making forecast.
Present at the Inter-ministerial meeting were the Director General of Nigerian Meteorological Agency M.B Matazu, Director General of Hydrological Service Agency Engr. Onyeaso Nze, Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed and others.