Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Mustapha Ahmed, has said 233 local government areas in 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been predicted to experience flooding this year.

Ahmed said this at a national consultative workshop on 2022 Flood Preparedness, Mitigation and Response, organised by the agency yesterday in Abuja.

The NEMA boss said the workshop was one of the steps the agency outlined to bring stakeholders together.

He said it was to collectively prepare and provide strategies to strengthen flood risk mitigation and effective response.

“This followed the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction released by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Annual Flood Outlook released by Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).

“Efforts must be made to mitigate and respond effectively to flooding.

“We have sent advisory letters and maps showing predicted flood risk areas in various states to the respective state governments.

“We have also produced risk maps for vulnerable local government areas as forecasted by NIHSA’s Annual Flood Outlook,” Ahmed said.

The NEMA boss urged state emergency management agencies as well as local emergency management committees to be proactive.

He said this would ensure effective and efficient flood preparedness, mitigation and response.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, urged relevant stakeholders to take proactive measures in addressing flood and its associated impacts.

Farouq, who was represented by Deputy Director of Disaster Management in the ministry, Dr. Abubakar Suleiman, said adequate information must be sent out to the public for effective preparation.

To forestall a disaster that flooding cause, the minister said there must be “intensification of public enlightenment campaigns, targeting vulnerable communities to undertake mitigation actions and prepare for evacuation to safe ground”.

She added: “Identification of high grounds for possible internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps to shelter evacuated communities.

“De-silting river channels and canals and removal of all refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats from water channel, drainage and on all avenues for river run offs so as to allow free flow of flood waters.”