The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned residents of Ibadan and Saki in Oyo State to be prepared for above normal rainfalls in 2013.
The South-West Zonal Coordinator of the agency, Mr. Iyiola Akande, said this in an interview with Newsmen.
He said the prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) was made available to NEMA to help it prepare for disaster mitigation.
Akande said the rainfall pattern in most parts of the country was likely to be similar to that of 2012, although Saki’s rainfall could be about 283mm above that of last year.
According to him, Ibadan is expected to have rainfalls of about 9mm higher than that of 2012.
“If you recall, we had monumental rainfall across the nation in 2012. Reports from across the world indicate that it is not a local problem.
“It is undoubtedly a fallout of disruptions of the ecosystem and changing weather patterns occasioned by global warming.
“We were able to mitigate some likely disasters last year and as far as NEMA is concerned, we are poised to reduce the impact of disasters on the people this year.
“However, to stop floods is a responsibility of all Nigerians. Let’s endeavour to keep the general environment and all water channels free of garbage,” he said.
He said while NEMA has come out with robust plans to stem the tide of disasters, especially through intensified sensitisation campaigns, state governments should also not relent in their efforts.
“State governments, especially that of Oyo State, are doing fine in the area of river dredging and clearing of drainages but they shouldn’t rest on their oars.
“As stakeholders, we need to intensify our efforts in mobilising people on disaster management, especially in the grassroots.
“We are also imploring the state government through their local emergency management agencies to improve on their preparedness strategies and response to disaster mitigation,” he said.
The NEMA boss added that there were no outstanding relief materials yet to be distributed to affected flood victims of any category in Oyo State.