The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has taken proactive measures aimed at curtailing the devastating impacts of flooding in the region occasioned by yearly torrential rainfall.
Sen. Akpabio to this end has Inaugurated an Inter-Agency Committee on Assessment of Potential impact of flooding and the level of preparedness in the Niger Delta region.
The Committee was geared towards mitigating the impacts, which may arise from the attendant ecological issues in the Niger Delta region and proffering realistic solutions to the problem.
The Committee expected to produce a blueprint that can be used as an instrument of reducing the attending negative consequences of flooding in the region was inaugurated in Abuja.
Speaking while inaugurating the 11-member committee in Abuja, Sen. Akpabio stressed the importance of being pro-active rather than being reactive particularly when we have been availed of timely information from the Metrological Agency that could help save lives and properties.
He said the idea is to take preemptive steps in setting up the necessary facilities before the occurrence of the natural phenomenon, in order to bring succor and reduce its consequential impact on the people of the region.
According to Akpabio, successive Governments have evolved and implemented various strategies and programs, including setting up of intervention Agencies and most recently the development of the Flood Mobile App by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), to give actual daily flood report to the nine states of the Niger Delta in line with Mr. President’s concern for sustenance of peace, stability, and development in the region.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Sen. Omotayo Donald Alasoadura noted that the State is exceedingly crucial in whatever is to be done to assuage whatever calamity is awaiting the people in this regard. He reiterated that whatever the Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET) and Nigeria Hydrological Agency (NIHSA) is doing without adequate sensitization and cooperation of the State Government might not achieve the desired goals.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, MNDA, Dr. Babayo Kumo Ardo stated that the essence of the Inauguration is to address the challenges facing the Niger Delta Region in the area of climate change, flooding, human displacement, and above all COVID-19.
The Acting Managing Director, IMC, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Pondei Kemebradikumo in his remarks said the inauguration of the Committee was timely to prevent another disaster. He assured the Committee of the total support of the NDDC and hopes that the report is taken seriously to be an actual working document.
The Chairman of the Committee, Director of Environmental Management, MNDA, Engr. Dr. Ernest Mbie, in his remarks, said that the Committee would work tirelessly and leave no stone unturned and ensure that the report is delivered on schedule.
The Inter-Agency Committee which is expected to submit its report in two weeks is made up of members from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (Chairman), Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster and Social Development, Ministry of Environment, National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET), Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as Secretary.