The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has stressed the need for individuals, local government areas(LGAs) and state governments to open up of all drainage systems and waterways around their areas.
The South-East Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Tickman Tanimo, made the call on Thursday in Enugu.
Tanimo who spoke on the sidelines of the 2022 Flood Prediction of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), noted that opening up the drains and waterways would drastically mitigate any possible flooding within the length and breadth of the country.
He urged governments at all levels to engage in proper waste bagging and evacuation in neighbourhoods, while ensuring that waste collection points were regularly evacuated on time.
According to him, the residents of the South-East should collectively check some people around them in the bad attitude of dumping refuse in drains especially when it rained.
“Government or NEMA cannot do it alone; we need individuals, neighbourhoods, communities, council areas and states to play their own part.
“Individuals, especially farmers following this year’s prediction, are to do early planting as well as early harvesting of their crops.
“Individuals should open up drainage systems in their homes.
“At the neighbourhood and community levels, people of a given neighbourhood or community should help to open up all drains or even waterways in their neighbourhoods or communities.
“The council area and state governments should also open up bigger secondary water drains and waterways leading outside the city or a given area or council area.
“All negative attitudes of blocking drains and waterways with refuse or structures should be dealt with immediately in the collective interest of the vast majority of the residents of the area or council area,” he said.
The coordinator said that the Agency would soon write officially to State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and other stakeholders within the South-East states on precaution that the governments and people needed to take.
“By next week, we will commence flood sensitisation as well as one-on-one meetings with partnering agencies and stakeholders to ensure that everybody is aware and ready.
“The sensitisation will make all stakeholders concerned to be proactive and take necessary precaution to reduce any unforeseen circumstances arising from flood,” he added.