The Zamfara Government has set up a rapid response team to handle emergencies in the event of a flood disaster in seven local government areas as predicted.
Alhaji Muhtar Lugga, the state Commissioner for Environment, told journalists on Thursday, the measure was in response to predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) which listed Zamfara as flood-prone.
The response team, he said, comprised of officials of the environment ministry, the State Emergency Management Agency, the Fire Service, Police, Civil Defence and local government officials.
He said the task of the committee included sensitising the residents in the identified local government areas, particularly flood-prone communities, on the exigency of evacuating them from “danger zones“ to safer environments.
He listed the affected local governments as Gusau, Bungudu, Maru,Shinkafi, Kaura Namoda, Gummi and Anka.
Luga added that communities such as Tsunami in Gusau and Jangeru in Shinkafi local government area, required total resettlement, to avoid unprecedented casualties from the anticipated flood.
He, however, expressed concern that in spite of repeated warnings and the government’s efforts at providing alternative accommodation facilities, the Jangeru communities had defied the directive to relocate from the bank of the river.
According to him, an estimated 55,000 people residing in these communities endangered should there be a “massive” flood between now and the end of September, being the peak of rainy season.
He disclosed the state and Federal Governments were collaborating to construct an embankment along the Jangeru River to save the people from the yearly flood.
Other measures taken by the state government to avert danger, he said, included media enlightenment campaign for the residents of the flood-prone areas.
The commissioner said that the response team had released toll-free telephone lines to enable the people alert the authorities once they observed a rise in the water level in the areas.