Nigeria Meteorological Institute, NIMET, has alerted the people of Rivers State about possible flooding this raining season.
In this vein the instituted has called for of necessary environmental measures, including clearing of drainages for free flow of water.
General Manager, Climate Change, NIMET in Abuja, Joseph E. Alozie gave the precautionary measures in his speech at a one-day sensitisation and awareness workshop organised by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, in conjuntion with Rivers State Ministry of Special Duties.
Mr. Alozie maintained that although the state had been predicted to have normal annual rainfall, there was also the indication that the rains would start late and stop early.
“River State being one of the southernmost parts of the country, normally experiences unpredictable heavy rainfall,” he explained.
He also noted that the socio economic advantage of the predicted rainfall was the boost the agricultural businesses would enjoy because of increased produce occasioned by normal rainfall.
Zonal coordinator of NEMA, Benjamin Oghenah regretted that communities and their assets had been more exposed to the impact of natural hazards as flooding, noting that the challenges of unplanned urbanisation, environmental degradation, population growth and poverty were some of the inter inked factors that increased the vulnerability.
Mr. Oghenah called for integrated disaster management approach by all stakeholders, and the focus on disaster risk reduction activities by all and sundry, calling for a drive towards investing in preventive measures.
In his keynote address, chairman of the occasion, Prof TKS Abams of the Rivers State University of Technology, RSUST, disclosed the premium government at all levels placed on safe clean environment.
Prof Abams also stated that if people should appreciate the huge sums government invested in planning, execution and sustenance of inhabitable environment, and adhered to environment rules and regulations, the state would be safe for all.
The state director, National Orientation Agency NOA, Oliver Wolugbom urged the people of the state to interface with the agency for information.
“We enjoin all especially rural dwellers, to freely come to our agency to share information with us. We have the opportunity of getting information concerning them and processing same, before dissemination.”
Others at the event included chairman, Rivers State Flood Committee, Prof. Bellgam, permanent secretary, Ministry of Special Duties, Mrs. I. A Briggs Iti, among others.

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