The Policing Nigeria Awareness Initiative (PNAI), a Non-Governmental Organisation has hailed the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja for his proactive intervention on disasters in the country.
The PNAI gave the verdict after a recent tour of selected states that were affected by heavy flooding in the country.
Presenting the report of the tour on behalf of the organisation on Thursday, HRH Amb. Egbe Akparakwu Adun, Team Leader/National Coordinator specifically hailed the NEMA DG for a high sense of transparency and accountability in their entire operations.
The report reads in full:
“The Policing Nigeria Awareness Initiative mobilized a 20-man committee of Non-Governmental Organisations on a tour of the states affected by flooding. The research was hinged on putting side by side, the effects of the floods and the various initiatives by NEMA towards cushioning the impact of the floods.
“The 20-man committee of Non-Governmental organizations went round the affected committees in the affected states for on the spot assessment of the situation on the ground and the efforts of NEMA towards mitigating the effects of the disaster in the affected areas.
“The team visited the various camps set up by NEMA, as well as the different relief materials that were distributed to victims of the flooding.
“1. Farmlands and other properties were submerged in twelve states in Nigeria. In Edo State, constant downpour across the state flooded no fewer than 35 communities in Edo Central and Edo North Senatorial districts, rendering the people homeless. Most of the affected communities are on the bank of River Nigeria.
“2. In Edo Central, mainly Esan South-East LGA, the flood wreaked untold destruction in four of the ten wards, particularly, communities which included Illushi to Ifeku Islands and the surrounding environs. Others communities affected include Illushi Oji, Oji Ozigono, Oji Awenje, Ajobe, Ajabutu, Owoli, Iyegbi and Ukpodo and other areas where no fewer than 8,000 households were affected, and thousands of hectares of farmland washed off.
“3. In Delta state, no fewer than 106 communities were submerged in the flood menace. The homes of residents of Aika and Abala-Oshimili, coastal communities in Ndokwa East Local Government Area, were submerged.
“4. In Anambra West Local Government Area, Anambra State, the following towns were affected Some of the communities in Anambra West Local government area are, Umuikwu Anam, Umudora Anam, Oroma Etiti Anam, Umueme Anam, Umueze Anam, Umuoba Anam, Mmiata Anam, Iyiora Anam, Nzam, Olumbanasa Ward 1 and Ward 2 and Ukwalla.
“5. In Kano state, at least eight local government areas were affected by floods caused by heavy rain. The worst hit area is Kiru Local Government Area.
“6. In Kogi State, several communities were also affected that saw scores of homes and farmland affected. 13 out of the 21 Local Government areas in the state.
“7. The situation was also the same in Kebbi, Niger and Kwara states, where scores were displaced and rendered homes.
“The team observed that in all the communities visited there was the presence of NEMA officials as well as other ad-hoc workers coordinating resettlements initiatives.
“The group also noted that most of the affected communities were around the riverine areas, which difficult terrain.
“The team also observed the near absence of foreign and local donor agencies regarding complementing the efforts of the federal government and by extension NEMA.
“In states that were worse hit, there was no presence of foreign or local humanitarian organizations. But for NEMA officials who were seen coordinating activities.
“The team also observed that the mechanism put in place for the distribution of relief materials by NEMA were effective.
“It was also observed that the NEMA displayed a high sense of transparency and accountability in their entire operations.
“After a careful analysis of the situation on the ground, it was unanimously agreed that the report of our findings is submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
“It is also recommended that a mechanism is developed by the relevant stakeholders towards ensuring that foreign and local humanitarian organizations enter a strategic partnership with NEMA in the future in an attempt to ease the financial burden on the government in times of emergencies.
“It was also recommended that a special commendation is given to the numerous NEMA officials that dot the nook and cranny of the affected communities.
“The team commends the efforts of NEMA in mitigating the flooding in the country that ultimately resulted in low casualty figures.
“It is suggested that for future purposes proper information dissemination which was helpful in the recent exercise can be deepened through states and local government offices of NEMA, SEMA, and LEMA to help the people.
“It was indeed obvious the NEMA did carry out sensitization of the impending disaster.
“The team also commends the timely release of funds by the federal government in mitigating the effect of the flooding.
“While this commendable, it is also advocated that the federal government should release more funds in an attempt towards ensuring that no stone is left unturned and even the resettlement of other Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) to their various communities.”