The resulting floods may have a negative impact on the social and economic lives of the people.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned communities in Ondo State of the looming downpour in some parts of the state which may lead to serious flooding.
The South West Zonal Coordinator of the Agency, Iyiola Akande, who raised the alarm at a one-day workshop on ‘Strengthening Mechanism for Community for Community –Based Disaster Early Warning’ held in Akure, Ondo State, said the heavy rains may have a negative impact on the social and economic lives of the people.
Mr. Akande, who was represented by the Assistant Zonal Coordinator, Babatunde Adebiyi, disclosed that Ondo Town and Akure, the state capital, would have 119mm and 65mm above normal rainfall which may cause disaster in various forms if adequate precautionary measures are not put in place.
He disclosed that the downpour would be associated with flood and storm that would destroy houses and farmlands and which may cause untold hardship to the people.
He said the workshop, therefore, was aimed at making people aware of the onset of the rains so that stakeholders like farmers would know when to embark on planting and respond to the situation.
Mr. Akande added that the workshop was also aimed at sensitizing various agencies like the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Red Cross, Fire Fighters, National Youth Service Corps and community volunteers on what they were expected to do to mitigate against the effect of any disaster.
The coordinator, who noted that the roles communities play in disaster management cannot be over-emphasised, said Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) would be ineffective without active participation of all communities.
“One of the ways communities can best involve in DRR activities is through monitoring of Early Warning Information. Without sufficient warning, the provision of emergency supplies, training, stimulation drills etc could become worthless.
“The greater the time the communities have to prepare against the disasters the greater the savings in human life, household assets, livestock and stored provisions, including livelihoods”, he said.
Recalling the impact of the 2012 flood disaster in various states of the federation, which claimed over 300 lives and displaced several households, Mr. Akande said it is compelling for such workshop to be organised so as to ensure better preparedness against flooding this year.
He said NEMA is collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture in order to sensitise farmers on the need to make adequate preparation on the rainfall this year.
He disclosed that his agency had advised agricultural extension workers to move to the rural areas to sensitise farmers adequately; just as veterinary doctors had been reached to take action on the likely effects of this year’s downpour.