The Deputy Director, Flood Forecasting Monitoring and Control, Federal Ministry of Environment, Ekong Ekanem, has urged Nigerians to embrace government’s sensitisation programme in curbing flood disasters.
Mr. Ekanem was speaking in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the ministry, at the beginning of every year, wrote to all states to sensitise Nigerians on the adverse effects of flood.
He said that the Federal Government had continued to issue alert to the states government while the states in turn issued warning to the local governments.
He stressed the need for officials in the local government areas to make it their responsibility to tell and direct people to take appropriate preventive measures.
“Like this year, we are writing letters to the state governments to take the awareness campaign to the people at the grass roots and of course at the state level. They will be able to communicate with the local government chairmen who will carry out the said function.
“Ours is to remind them of the duty they are supposed to do. Occasionally, we do national awareness programme to sensitise people on the dangers posed by flood. This campaign will be intensified as the rainy season is approaching,” he said.
He said the awareness has been made in three major languages across the country.
“In the previous years, we have some jingles transcribed into the three major languages in the country like the Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo,” he said.
He advised state governments to open a radio programme that would be used for the purpose of sensitisation mostly in its local languages.
He added that prior to this time, Nigerians had not been very strong with complying with the alert warnings but significant improvement had been received in the last one year.
“I think after witnessing what happened last year and the accuracy of our forecast, most states now have confidence on our report.
“In fact, sometimes the states ask us for more information,” he said.