2024 Flood Forecast: Kogi SEMA Assures KONGONET of Agency’s Preparedness, Adequate Response Mechanisms

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Executive Secretary of Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Mouktar Atima, has given assurance that the agency is adequately prepared for immediate response to natural disasters.

Atima gave the assurance when Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) team visited his office in Lokoja on Monday to ascertain the state emergence management agency’s level of preparedness in the even the state witness another flood menace in 2024 as predicted by meteorological agencies.

He aside the flood estate and another hostel facility in Lokoja that can be used as emergency internally displaced persons (IDP) camps for victims across Lokoja and Kogi local government areas, SEMA has identified 42 locations for camps across the state.

He said though no one prays for another flooding experience, the state emergence response team is working round the clock to ensure adequate preparations are in place to mitigate disasters.

“This is an annual routine for us at SEMA. Aside the usual sensitization campaigns through the mass media urging resident living around flood plains to move to higher grounds, we are engaging stakeholders on improved response mechanisms.

“It is an established fact that nine local government areas in the state are always affected by flooding. These are communities situated along the banks of River Niger and River Benue.

“We have identified 42 facilities for camps across these nine LGAs. We do not want to be caught unawares. We will continue to visit these communities and interact with stakeholders to ensure response is swift and effective,” he said.

Atima stated that Governor Usman Ododo has given SEMA the mandate to ensure the effects of disasters are reduced to the barest minimum across the state.

“Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo told us clear terms to reduce impact of disasters to the barest minimum. He is not a man of many words but full of action.

“We have the full support of the state government to manage disasters and we will not fail the good people of Kogi state,” he said.

Chairperson of KONGONET, Ambassador Idris Ozovehe Muraina, recalled the roles played by civil societies during previous flood menace in the state and called on Kogi state government to be proactive in its approach to disaster management.

KONGONET urged the state government to set up well managed camps with basic amenities such as water, lighting systems, healthcare outpost, free drugs and toiletries to make life more meaningful for victims.

Download the KONGONET flood assessment and impact report of 2022

The group highly recommended the inclusion of traditional rulers in the various affected communities to ensure that actual victims are reached out to in the entire disaster management process.

The NGOs Network also urged state and federal government to make rescue teams available on waterways as well as provide safety jackets to ensure safety of citizens who have to use waterways as only means of transportation.

KONGONET expressed its readiness to partner with SEMA in the preparation and management processes.

Download the KONGONET flood assessment and impact report of 2022


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