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NEMA to Nigerians: Brace up for food, water shortages

By Joke Falaju, Abuja
05 December 2020   |   3:03 am
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned the country to brace up for increase food and water shortages due to frequent changes in weather patterns.

This picture taken on April 10, 2019, shows traders displaying their wares at Mile 12 food market in Lagos. PHOTO: TONYE BAKARE

Weather Vulnerabilities Responsible For Projection
•158 Fatalities, 826 Injuries Recorded In 2020 Flood Disasters

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned the country to brace up to increase food and water shortages due to frequent changes in weather patterns.

The Director-General of the Agency, Air Vice Marshall Mohammadu Mohammed sounded the warning at a capacity building for NEMA and other stakeholders on Integrated Climate Change and COVID-19 vulnerability and adaptation planning for disaster risk management.

Mohammed said Nigeria would continue to depend on subsistence agriculture due to climate change.

He said: “Increased drought in some regions will likely lead to land degradation, damage to crops or reduced yields, more livestock deaths, and an increased risk of wildfire. Such conditions will increase the risk for populations dependent on subsistence agriculture.”

The changing weather conditions, according to the DG, would further lead to food and water shortage and higher incidence of malnutrition, water-borne and food-borne diseases, and may also lead to displacements of population. He added that the increased frequency of high precipitation in some regions would trigger floods and landslides with the potential loss of lives and properties.

He noted that the risk and dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change vulnerability have given the warning that we have to publicly adapt to the new situation or we suffer the devastating consequences.

Also, the International Federation of Red Cross Society has revealed that no fewer than 158 fatalities were recorded across 22 states during the 2020 flood disaster that ravaged the country.

The body also revealed that about 193,000 people were affected, 826 injured and 134,000 people have so far been displaced.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Fatima Jagne, WHO quoted the statistics, expressed worry over the development, saying Nigeria is the worst affected country in the region with natural disaster and human-induced calamity, as the combination of the disasters has led to huge economic losses and avoidable human death.

The ECOWAS commissioner noted that the changing weather patterns would undermine the development and sustainability, saying it is therefore necessary that for implementation and adaptation actions, the capacity of disaster risk managers at the local and national level be strengthened.

She lamented that countries in the West African region were currently grappling with multiple challenges of various risk disasters caused by climate change and variability in the vulnerable communities, adding that the condition was further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She pointed out that the negative effect on the economies and people of the sub-region, coupled with the unprecedented effect of draught erosion, has made the ECOWAS revise its disaster management plan, with a new plan of action 2015-2030. She said this was in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015-2030.

She urged ECOWAS member states to be more responsible in the protection of lives and properties of their citizen, and in serving the needs of their population before and after the disaster.