By Muhammad Aminu
No fewer than three (3) persons had been killed, and 2,250 residences were destroyed by flooding and windstorm in Kano in June.
The Executive Secretary, Kano State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr Saleh Jili, told journalists in Kano as his agency is poised to face the challenge during the rainy season.
Dr Jiji also confirmed that five LGAs in the state were affected.
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had predicted that there would be flooding in 32 States of the federation this rainy season. According to the Secretary who attributed the calamity to the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in waterways and drains, said the affected Local Government Areas are Rano, Kibiya, Doguwa, Dambatta and Kiru.
He, therefore, urged residents to desist from such bad practices to avert a recurrence of such disasters, just as he pledged his Agency’s preparedness to respond to emergency situations, carrying the people along in the process.
“On June 9, the Agency organised a stakeholders conference to brainstorm on disaster risk reduction and disaster management.
“We sensitised religious leaders and heads of communities in the five emirates on how to manage heavy rainfall that was predicted by NiMet. We also used the media, markets and other gatherings to sensitise the residents on the need to ensure easy flow of water in their places,” he said.
He said that Kano State has commenced planning ahead of anticipated 2022 rainy season flooding in many parts of the state.
He said the State has started stockpiling relief materials in response to the NIMET’s prediction about the possibility of more flooding.
According to Dr Jiji, Kano State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is on alert in case of any emergency situation. The state also designated places to serve as temporary shelters for those to be displaced by the anticipated disasters.
Pundits attribute the frequent occurrence of flooding in urban and rural communities to the unwholesome habit of building structures on waterways, as well as dumping Refuse in drains.
On his part, the Territorial Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency in Kano, Dr Nuradeen Abdullahi, assured that his Agency was prepared to respond to any situation, adding that there were enough relief materials in stock.
He stated that although there were many factors responsible, blockage of waterways by residents was a major factor, hence the need for a change of attitude.
Kabiru Getso, Kano State Commissioner for Environment, said the government had been engaging in the evacuation of Refuse as part of its “Keep Kano Clean” campaign.
“So far, more than 70,000 linear meters of drains have been de-silted, and more than 1,600 strips of silted materials have been evacuated from drains”, he revealed.
Getso also revealed that the state had submitted the ‘State Pollution Control Bill’ to the state House of Assembly, which had passed through the second reading.
“If passed, the state will have laws criminalising environmental offences such as indiscriminate dumping of refuse and other forms of environmental pollution,” he said.