The Akwa Ibom Government on Saturday sensitised 948 villages in the flood prone Local Government Areas of the state on the need for adequate preparation against the impending flood prone areas.
The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had predicted heavy rainfall in the country this year that would result in flooding of coastal communities.
In an address at the event in Uyo, the Deputy Governor, of the state, Mr Moses Ekpo, said the state government had adopted a multi-pronge approach aimed at sensitising the communities on the dangers of flooding.
Ekpo, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Deputy Governor’s Office, Mr Nkpouruk Ekaiko, said the sensitisation meeting was strategize and come up with strict preventive measures to avert flooding.
He said that strategic awareness campaigns was the key to saving lives and combating the scourge of floods in the country.
“The current anti-flooding campaigns in 948 villages in the 16 flood-prone local government areas of the state is in order to ensure preparedness on the part of the residents.
“Therefore, I urged you to strategize and come up with measures that will ensure strict preventive efforts against the impending dangers,” he said.
The deputy governor directed Chairmen of the affected local government areas to ensure the distribution of flood prevention analytical materials and establish feedback mechanisms.
He said that was necessary to ensure people’s timely report in the event of flooding to avoid casualties.
Ekpo noted that for the current campaign to succeed, all available traditional and modern mass media must be used to address the scourge.
He also directed the mobilisation of all village heads and the traditional institution to use all traditional methods of communication in reaching out to the indigenes, especially those living in coastal areas.
The deputy governor said that the state government had inaugurated a massive anti-flooding media campaign in major radio stations in the state.
Ekpo called on relevant stakeholders to ensure compliance with environmental laws by ensuring that people living in low-lying coastal areas relocated upland for safety.
He said the people should ensure regular clearing of gutters and dumping of refuse only in authorised places.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Frank Archibong, stressed the need for preventive measures against flooding.
Archibong, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Mbuk Inyang, said local government chairmen should be proactive in tackling the menace.
He said they should build a strong synergy with their respective communities to ensure that they were not involved in unsafe environmental practice. (NAN)