Following the recent floods disaster which resulting in casualties and destruction of property in Nigeria, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has stressed the need to re-assess, re-strategise and identify the strengths and challenges in terms of disaster preparedness and response in the country.
North-West zonal coordinator, Ishaya Isah Chonoko, who disclosed this during a critical stakeholders meeting organised by the agency in Kaduna, said there was need for stakeholders in disaster management to work together to build a culture of preparedness, prevention, response and resilience to disasters in the communities.
“It is therefore against this background that NEMA/SEMA as an agencies saddled with the responsibility of coordinating disasters in the country, has found it expedient to organise this forum to assess the state of preparedness of all organisations or agencies that are stakeholders in disaster management in this zone.
“The use of the agency’s proactive approach to disasters as part of our Disaster Risk Reduction, DRR, strategy needs to be imbibed by all stakeholders in order to reduce the risks and mitigate impact of disasters in our communities,” he said.
According to the coordinator, NEMA’s mandates are to manage disasters in all ramifications, to ascertain the capacity of all its critical stakeholders and monitor their state of preparedness, with a view to proffering solutions towards efficient and effective disaster management in the zone.
Chonoko said recent floods in Kaduna made it necessary for the agency to call stakeholders to ensure that proper drills and sensitisation campaigns were carried out in respect to the disaster management cycle.
“There is need for frequent interaction of stakeholders, to enable us all keep abreast of any development within the circle. The need therefore for collaboration, planning and commitment to deal with disaster issues timely by all the tiers of government particularly the LGAs cannot be over emphasised,” he said, as he used the forum to warn that unless disaster management and risk reduction were effectively driven at all levels, their impacts would be extremely difficult and costly to address.