Public-private collaboration will mitigate natural disasters –Oduah


•NIMET releases Seasonal Rainfall Prediction tomorrow

The Federal Government has canvassed stronger collaboration of stakeholders in designing and implementing preventive measures that can help the country avert and, if they occur, mitigate the damaging impact of weather-induced disasters.

The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, proffered the public- private partnership solution at a two-day Technical Conference on Application of Meteorological Information in Weather Disaster Risk Reduction and Socio-Economic Planning in Abuja yesterday.

Oduah said there was a growing need for stakeholders to work together in ensuring effective utilisation of meteorological information with a view to translating the ideas generated into safety tools for overall socio-economic benefits.

The minister, who recalled the monumental losses Nigeria suffered from the 2012 flood disaster, pointed out that if adequate attention had been given to weather forecasts and other meteorological information produced by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, and people adhered to guidelines on physical planning, the pains associated with the flooding would have been averted.

She said: “Since the past five years, NIMET prepares and presents the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, SRP, to the Nigerian public annually.

“This two-day conference preceding the formal release of the 2013 prediction is an innovation intended to further enrich the information in the SRP that will be formally made public on Friday, 15th February 2013.

“It would be recalled that last year was unprecedented flood in the annals of the country which affected 27 states of the federation, resulting in loss of over 300 lives and displacement of over two million people from their homes.

“The flood also destroyed farmlands, livestock and other means of livelihood for millions of rural dwellers. Critical infrastructure were also damaged and activities in several factors of the economy were disrupted.

“It would appear that 2012 flood took most people unawares despite the warnings issued earlier by NIMET pointing to likelihood of flooding in different parts of the country.

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