Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi, has said at least seven million Nigerians were displaced in various floods recorded nationwide by the agency in 2012.
Sidi disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kirfi, Kirfi Local Government Area of Bauchi State on Wednesday, while in the area to inspect a relief camp established by NEMA in anticipation of victims that might be displaced by flood this year.
Nine persons were confirmed dead and property estimated at N356 million were lost in a recent flood that ravaged some parts of the state.
“We recall what happened last year, the unprecedented flood which led to the displacement of 2.1 million people across the country and it affected over seven million people. It led to the death of over 363 persons,” he said.
He said that 2.1 million persons out of the figure were recorded at various camps set up by the agency across the country to provide temporary shelter for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Sidi pledged to ensure that the ugly incident was not allowed to repeat itself.
He said that NIMET had since released this year’s annual rainfall seasonal prediction which indicated that Bauchi State would experience flood akin to 2012.
“We have carried out advocacy in all the states and today we are matching our words with action as we are witnessing one of the established self grounds for IDPs,” the director-general said.
He therefore called on state governments to match earlier warnings with action by identifying self grounds for various communities that might be affected by the disaster.
Sidi explained that the agency set up such camps to shy away from the use of public infrastructure such as schools, churches and mosques used in the past.
He said that the camps would be beefed up with mobile colleges and schools for IDPs to avoid disruption of school calendar as experienced in the past while security would equally be strengthened.
The director-general warned communities still living in flood prone areas to relocate to such safer areas being established nationwide.
He assured that food items and non-food items would be provided in the camps to ensure that IDPs did not lack such items.