By Henry Odeh
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and flood management stakeholders in Oyo state have urged Oyo state government to as a matter of urgency begin capacity building of the state emergency management agency (SEMA) for effective operations.
The South West Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Slaku Lugard, who made this known while addressing stakeholders at the one day interactive meeting which held at western hall of Oyo state house of assembly on Tuesday, stressed the need for the state government to adequately empower SEMA as a critical partner towards achieving effectiveness in flood management.
According to the NEMA boss, the national agency from its headquarters had written a letter to at least 28 states that are prone to be affected by heavy downpour in the current raining season which include Oyo state.
This, according to NEMA, will prepare those states ahead in case of water submerge in order for quick evacuation adding that state governments that have been reached out to must act fast before efforts become reactionary.
The Director General, Oyo SEMA, Mr Lukman Aransi, explained that the present government is doing a lot to ensure that lives and properties of the people are adequately protected.
He stressed the need for all stakeholders to work more closely and share ideas over field experience from time to time to avoid duplication of efforts.
Other flood management Stakeholders at the event include the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC), Federal and state fire services, Ministry of Agriculture and Development, Red Cross, NGOs, Ministry of Environment and natural resources members of the press and leaders of market women in the state.
Some stakeholders who spoke concluded that a situation where agenda of all stakeholders in a year are not harmonized, duplication of efforts may become inevitable which may be counterproductive to the collective goal of managing flood in the state.
A communique which was released by NEMA at the end of the event revealed that stakeholders were unhappy at the situation OYSEMA has found itself as a result of lack of capacity to effect needed operations adding that OYSEMA should primarily be responsible for disaster management in Oyo state.
Sunrisebulletin. com had earlier reported that Oyo state government through State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), has unveiled plans to create Local Government Emergency Management Committee that will synergize with SEMA for more proactive approach to averting natural disasters in the state.