Gombe State Government takes proactive measures to mitigate flooding

Gombe State Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya

By Williams Ago, Gombe

Gombe State Government says it has put in place proactive measures in readiness to the warning by NiMet and NHSA that many northern States, including Gombe, may experience heavy rainfall with thunderstorms and high winds.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA) recently warned that some northern States, including parts of Gombe State (Nafada, Yamaltu Deba, and Balanga LGA's), will have high risk of flooding following expected heavy rainfall together with thunderstorms and high winds in the coming months. 

In a swift response to the impending environmental challenges, the State governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, has directed the State Ministry of Environment and Forest Resources to work with all relevant stakeholders and activate State Emergency Response and Management Resources towards ensuring safety of lives and property while mitigating the effects of the impending life-threatening consequences.

Acting on the governor's directive, therefore, the ministry has constituted a task force to engage all relevant stakeholders such as, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Gombe State Environmental Sanitation and Protection Agency (GOSEPA), Ministries of Works, Health and Education, as well as non- governmental organisations for regular consultative meetings to come up with ways of mitigating the impact of the incidents in case they occur. 

The ministry has also began an aggressive advocacy exercise and community sensitization campaign on the new weather alert in all the envisaged flood-prone areas within the State on how people will take self-precautionary and mitigating measures.

The Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya led-administration has also through the State Ministry of Environment, embarked on desilting of drainages and water channels in the State capital, desilting of at least a 2km radius in all the other 10 local government headquarters in the state to prevent flash floods and allow for proper drainage of runoffs, especially in densely populated areas. 

The crisis response unit of the ministry has also been put on alert for constant monitoring of weather patterns and other environmental changes for prompt and timely response to any environmental issue that may pose a threat to the safety of lives and properties.

Shelter zones have already been mapped out to serve as a haven to displaced persons during emergencies in all the local government areas, and provided these centres with needed amenities and services.

Already collaborating with the Ministry of Environment in this regard is the Ministry of Education, to ensure schools and the entire education system is not disrupted by flooding or any severe weather phenomenon. 

The Gombe State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA has confirmed it's readiness to participate fully in the entire risk management process.

It says, it has adequate stock to support the people that may find themselves in an emergency as a result of the weather events, advising members of the public to adhere to early warning signals of potential flooding while avoiding building on flood plains and waterways.
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