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NEMA, UNICEF, Stakeholders Strategize To Avert , Reduce Disaster Impact

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on key stakeholders in disaster management in the country to articulate robust proactive disaster handling plan and system with a view to reducing losses during emergency situations.

Speaking in Enugu during a three day workshop on a Review of the National Contingency Plan for Nigeria (Sub-National Level) Director General of the Agency, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, said critical Stakeholders must always take issue of disaster very seriously.

African Examiner reports that the 60 participants attending the workshop, were drawn from disaster/emergency stakeholders in South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria (three states from South-East and four states from South-South) zone..

The NEMA boss, who spoke through the South-East Coordinator, Mr. Thickman Tanimu, said that it was a universally recognised fact that “preparedness before occurrence of disaster helps to a large extent to reduce both human and property losses”.

He stated that efficient organisation and detailed plan help to mitigate the impact of disasters and also lead to early recovery and rebuilding of affected segment of the society.

According to him, “It is in the light of this, that NEMA in collaboration with UNICEF is reviewing the National Contingency Plan for the country at the sub-national level.

“The review strategy adopted is bottom up, with a consultative and participatory approach; hence, the caliber of stakeholders present in this workshop.

The DG applauded UNICEF for making the workshop a reality and participants that came from states within the regions.

“I charge participants to make useful contribution to enrich the working document” he stated.

Speaking at the workshop, Health Specialist UNICEF Enugu Field Officer, Dr Olufemi Adeyemi, explained that the participants, who are disaster stakeholders, were drawn based on the country-wide risk analyses done last year by UNICEF.

Adeyemi added that the participants were from states within the two regions that had “very high risk” on series of different disaster issues such as flooding, cholera and communal violence among others.

“The participants were also drawn from different sectors such as health; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), environment and we also brought in lead agencies on various emergencies from the national level here as well as NEMA.

“The idea is for us to draw up a contingency response plan in these prioritized mentioned areas of disasters.

“Although, we always pray that disaster do not happen but it is however, necessary and good, we be proactive by preparing for them.

“We want the participants, who are stakeholders from states and field of disaster management at the sub-national level, to contribute to and own the contingency plan document. This document will be presented at the national level for validation.”

Also speaking, the Emergency Specialist in UNICEF, Mr Yinka Afolabi, stated that UNICEF, NEMA and its partners wanted to achieve a bottom up approach to contingency planning by getting the states (sub-nationals) more committed to addressing disaster issues within their localities.

“We want the states to domesticate this contingency plan and use it to act or even hold their state government accountable and see what they can do in terms of appropriate actions and materials needed in emergency disasters.

“We are looking at a situation that the state will take lead action on local emergency situations; the Federal Government through NEMA and other partners can come in and fill-up the gap they cannot easily fill.

He said that participants would look into mitigating the effect of disasters, specifically to know how to deal with children, aged people, livelihood, water, sanitation and hygiene issues when disasters occur and to check poverty that comes with disasters.

The brain storming programme is put together by UNICEF, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and NEMA

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=81198

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