The Director General of the National Orientation Agency, (NOA) Dr. Garba Abari, has directed officers of the Agency at the community level to immediately commence community sensitization campaign on the new weather alert by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NIMET) which predicted strong winds and flash flood in about 17 states of the country.
This followed the official receipt of NIMET forecast which indicated that thunderstorm cells have been observed over the Northern parts of the country, especially Borno, Taraba, Gombe Bauchi and Kano States.  NIMET says the thunderstorm cells accompanied by squalls is propagating eastwards to cities in Plateau, FCT, Nasarawa, Katsina, Adamawa, Yobe, Kaduna and Jigawa States.
The Director General urged Community Orientation and Mobilisation Officers (COMOS) to swing into action by providing necessary information to citizens at the grassroots to avert consequences such as loss of lives and property. He noted that the NIMET advisory on the current weather forecast has grave implications for the ordinary citizen, properties, the airlines and forests.
NIMET had advised as follows:
“1. For areas where thunderstorm are expected, strong winds are likely to precede the rains and as such, trees, electric poles, unsecured objects and weak buildings may be felled. So the public is advised to be cautious. Stay indoors especially during heavy rainfall to avoid being struck by lightning.
“2. All Airline operators are advised to avail themselves of weather reports periodically from NIMET for effective planning of their operations.
“3. Moderate to heavy rainfall could lead to flash floods. The public is advised to take necessary caution.
“4. Disaster risk managers, agencies and individuals should be proactive to avert loss of lives and property during rainy the season.
Dr. Abari urged the field officers to explain the need for citizens to make their contribution towards averting the grave implications of climate change on the environment. These, he said, include clearing of drainages in their immediate environment to allow for easy draining of rain water, relocating from low lands to higher grounds and desisting from activities in flood plains.
Paul Odenyi
Assistant Director, Press
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