By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA) has warned that unless disaster management and risk reduction are effectively driven at all levels, its impacts will be extremely difficult and costly to addressed.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, NEMA North-West Zonal Coordinator, Ishaya Isah Chonoko, said there is need for stakeholders in disaster management to work together to build a culture of preparedness, prevention, response and resilience to disasters in communities.
This is in view of the recent floods in the country which resulted to loss of lives and destruction of property; stressing the need to re-assess, re-strategize and identify strengths and challenges in terms of disaster preparedness and response in the country.
“It is therefore against this background that NEMA/SEMA as agencies saddled with the responsibility of coordinating disasters in the country, has found it expedient to organize this forum to assess the state of reparedness of organizations 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 Mr. Chonoko, NEMA’s mandates are to manage disasters in all its ramification, compelled to ascertain the capacity of all its critical stakeholders and monitor their state of preparedness with a view to proffer solutions towards efficient and effective disaster management in the Zone.
He explained that the meeting involved all stakeholders to develop preparedness, mitigation and response strategies which cannot be overemphasized.
He said recent floods in Kaduna made it necessary for the agency to notify stakeholders to ensure proper drills and sensitization campaigns are carried out in respect to the disaster management cycle.
“There is need for frequent interaction of stakeholders, to keep them abreast of any development within the circle. The need therefore for collaborations, planning and commitment to timely deal with disaster issues by all tiers of government, particularly the LGAs cannot be over emphasized,” he added.
Speakers at the meeting frowned at the poor response to disasters and urged those saddled with the responsibilities to intensify more efforts in order to achieve set goals.