The Nigerian government is set to airdrop relief materials in flood-affected, inaccessible areas.
The effort, which is to be carried out by the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) and other specialists, was disclosed by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq.
Speaking at a Ministerial briefing held at the State House Press Gallery, Abuja, Umar-Farouq explained that the administration has also established 44 shelters in 24 states with most victims evacuated to higher grounds.
“We have taken interventions to the most hit states including Bayelsa and Jigawa, Delta Anambra and other states affected by the floods and it is still ongoing. These are natural disasters and we pray that we don’t see this again. However, the government is up and doing in this regard.
“I am currently overseeing efforts in the response phase including the activation of a national emergency operation centre and situation room that collates data, provides risk communication and coordinates the complementary efforts of sister Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Officials of our operational agency, the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA are in all states affected”, she explained.
She added that the government is set to partner with the World Bank to conduct a post-disaster rapid impact assessment.
According to her, the post-rapid impact assessment will use the Global Rapid Post-Disaster Damage Estimation (GRADE) “to give an immediate understanding and estimation of the extent of damage and loss caused by the flood.
“This rapid estimation is needed because the physical Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) will take between 6 to 8 months. So while we wait for the PDNA to be conducted, we can use the GRADE for planning and financial purposes.
As GRADE has been found to be fairly accurate, the findings will guide programs of recovery and flood prevention. We are keenly waiting for the result of the GRADE assessment on or before 2nd December 2022”, she stressed.
The Minister also called on all stakeholders and partners to work towards early recovery and stabilization of affected communities.
“We have to also seek durable solutions towards the return and resettlement of affected communities, continue to provide lifesaving emergency assistance and prevent the spread of diseases as well as consider food insecurity challenges that may arise.
“I would like to highlight the importance of coordination and partnership in national emergencies, which is the core objective and scope of the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.
“The Flood plan was a directive issued by His Excellency Mr. President, given his concerns about the experiences of floods in 2018 and 2020. The plan was developed by multiple stakeholders and all MDAs and it finally received approval from the Federal Executive Council in September 2022.
“The Flood Plan is currently guiding our field operations and addressing any gap in coordination we have faced at the Federal and Sub-National levels,” Umar Farouq stated.
While commending the locals, communities, civil society organizations, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, UN Agencies and donors for their support to cushion the disaster, Umar-Farouq described the loss of lives, property and farmlands as colossal and unfortunate.
“We sympathise with the families of those who lost their lives, those who have lost their livelihoods and property. This is very unfortunate,” she mourned.