A team of European experts in civil protection is leaving for Nigeria today to advise on measures to prepare for and mitigate the impact of floods. In 2012 the country suffered enormous flooding and the risk of a similar large-scale disaster is high.
Following Nigeria's request for assistance through the European Civil Protection Mechanism, the team of experts from the European Commission and four Member States (Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic) will conduct a 10-day mission to Abuja and the flood-prone areas. They will advise the Nigerian authorities on ways to improve flood preparedness of the population and the national disaster management system.
Last year Nigeria suffered its worst floods in 40 years. More than 2 million people were displaced, homes and farmlands were destroyed. According the Nigerian Metrological Agency, 2013 is feared to bring similar devastating floods to the country.
As the EU's disaster management tool, the Civil Protection Mechanism is involved in both supporting response to natural and man-made disasters, and prevention against them. It has deployed similar assessment missions following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in Japan. During 2013 disaster preparedness missions have also been dispatched to Nepal and Madagascar.