By Bukola Hameed
The Oyo state government has commenced training for its Officers on Early Warning Signs, as part of efforts to combat flooding in the State.
Speaking at the training in Ibadan, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Abiodun Oni revealed that the Early Warning Systems will go a long way in reducing risks from the disaster.
He added that the Early Warning System is a coordinated system of warning that will alert people in flood prone areas of the impending danger six hours before any flooding disaster.
Oni said that this will allow them to evacuate their families in order to put an end to loss associated with flooding.
The Commissioner also said the coordinated system known as the Early Warning System (EWS), is a technologically driven effort that involves monitoring water level remotely using wired sensor network to ensure that people living in flood-prone Communities receive appropriate warning within suitable time interval to take effective action to save lives and minimise loss of properties.
He said, “It is not enough for an early warning system to correctly identify an incoming hazard, it must also ensure that the residents that are at risk receive the alert, understand it, and most importantly, act on it.”
“With the climate change, the weather has become more unpredictable and unable to rely on traditional and indigenous knowledge in our decision-making.” He concluded.
The Hydrolic Specialist from Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, (IUFMP) Engr. Akande Lukman, regretted that about 12 years ago, Oyo State experienced flooding which destroyed many properties and lives.
Consequently, the state received assistance from the World Bank and an Early Warning System was put in place as part of one the measures to forestall future occurrence of flood in the State.
He stressed further that, Oyo State Government engaged the services of IRMSI , a Consultant Firm from India to design an Early Warning System with a master plan for 20 years.
Akande added that the system will give a 72 hours notice to detect heavy rainfall which may lead to flooding within Ibadan. The training also ensured consistent Early Warning System information and sensitization to residents.
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