Edo: Kingsley Uwagbale assures public of govt support to disaster victims

The Edo State Commissioner for Public Safety and Security, Kingsley Uwagbale, has reassured residents of the State of the Government’s commitment to their wellbeing. He addressed particularly to victims of rainstorm and flood disasters in the State.

The Edo State Commissioner for Public Safety and Security, Kingsley Uwagbale, has reassured residents of the State of the Government’s commitment to their wellbeing. He addressed particularly to victims of rainstorm and flood disasters in the State.

Uwagbale gave the assurances during a stakeholders’ meeting organized by the Edo State Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with the Edo State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and other relevant stakeholders in Benin City.

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The stakeholders’ meeting seeks to address areas of flood preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery, as it may affect victims of rainstorms and flood disasters across the three senatorial districts of the State.

The Commissioner, who described incidences of rainstorms and floods as largely natural, counselled that with the right attitudes and culture, such disasters’ impact could reduce if not eliminated. He recommended that for residents who resist relocation from flood-prone areas for reasons based on history or geography, insurance would be the best alternative to ease losses when such disasters as rainstorms and floods occur.

In a keynote address, the Managing Director of Edo SEMA, Helen I. Obayuwana, advised that as floods do not discriminate, the onus lies on residents to minimize its destructive tendencies through adequate preparation, mitigation and response strategies. She recommends preventive measures to include investing in robust infrastructure; early warning systems; land-use planning; adequate drainage systems; flood risk consideration in urban and rural planning; amongst others.

The Director of Relief and Disaster Management, Edo SEMA, Dr Desmond Agbama, harped on the need to emphasize stakeholders’ training and retraining, as, according to him, natural disasters’ risk management is exclusively for professionals.

Presentations were made by the directors of socials from some local government Areas (LGAs) in the State, including other representatives, on the levels of impact of disasters, their preparedness and challenges concerning rainstorms and floods in their localities. While the flood was a common denominator across the LGAs, Etsako West LGA had the additional challenges of rainstorms, and Owan East and West LGAs had more rainstorm disasters, which occurred three times in 2023.

Kingsley Uwagbale assures public of govt support to disaster victims, Image Courtesy: Facebook

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The various stakeholders suggested planting economic trees to mitigate rainstorm disasters, building settlement camps to accommodate disaster victims, and sensitizing residents in such localities to imbibe cultures that would enhance their safety and survival.

They also advocated for timely and effective information sharing among stakeholders to efficiently collaborate for optimum impact in areas of natural disaster management across the State.

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