The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), yesterday disclosed that in the last eight months, floods in Nigeria, mostly flash floods, have inundated 33 out of 36 States and FCT, thereby affecting over 508,000 persons, leading to about 372 deaths.
It added that 277 persons got injured and about 37,633 houses destroyed with loss of huge numbers of livestock and several farmland submerged by the flood mostly in Adamawa, Jigawa, Taraba, Kano, Bauchi, Niger, Anambra, and Ebonyi States.
The Director General, NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, made the disclosure during the inauguration and induction of newly acquired operational vehicles and specialised equipment in Abuja.
Ahmed noted that the flood has been accompanied by other derivative disasters.
He said: “I wish to note with pleasure that the agency has begun to venture into realms of proactive and predictive disaster risk management in line with best practices.
“No doubt, the effort at new acquisitions will close existing gaps, meet the current operational cum tactical challenges faced by actors responding to emergencies in the field, and increase the agency’s asset base in preparedness at the HQ and across the zonal, territorial and operational offices (ZTOs).
“The initiative will also support the response capabilities of stakeholder agencies and individuals during emergencies.”
He maintained that protocols in current trends in hazards identification, risk mapping and actual disasters have shown increasing instances of structural collapses, fuel tanker explosions, other road crashes and fire outbreaks which are either isolated disasters or derivative disasters in the raining seasons mostly characterised by floods.
According to him, in recent weeks, devastating floods have ravaged countries such as South Africa, Pakistan, India, Japan, the Gambia, Italy and a host of other countries including Nigeria.
“The calamities that trailed these floods make it imperative to identify gaps in the national inventories of disaster management equipment and technology in Nigeria.
“This consideration informed the decision of NEMA to prioritise the enhancement of its fleet of operational vehicles and urban search and rescue (USAR) specialised equipment.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in furtherance to achieving the agency’s mandate and to the glory of God, it is with great pleasure and excitement that I unveil the following operational vehicles as well as specialised search and rescue equipment to be inducted into operations as from this moment.
“The vehicles and equipment will be distributed to NEMA offices spread across Nigeria and emergency response team at this headquarters.
“The equipment included three mobile intensive care unit ambulances (MICUs), three incident response vehicles (IRVs), two motorised boats, two inflatable boats, nine flood lights, 15 probe cameras, three life locators, 15 breaching systems, nine chain saws, six concrete cutters, nine full body harness and nine hose pump unit.
“Others are nine hydraulic cutter, nine hydraulic hose, nine hydraulic rescue ram, nine hydraulic spreader, nine manual cutter/spreader and three concrete cutting saw.
“I strongly believe, therefore, that the induction of the new mission-critical equipment today will further ensure efficient and fast location, recovery and treatment of victims as well as upscale community resilience in the country.”