By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
In view of the recent floods which resulting in casualties and destruction of property in Nigeria, the National Emergency Management Agency has stressed the need to re-assess, re-strategize and identify the strengths and challenges in terms of disaster preparedness and response in the country.
In a critical stakeholders meeting organized by NEMA in Kaduna, the North West Zonal Coordinator, Ishaya Isah Chonoko said there was the need for the 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 agencies saddled with the responsibility of coordinating disasters in the country, has found it expedient to organize this forum to assess the state of pemphasised reparedness of all Organizations or Agencies that are stakeholders in disaster management in this Zone.” He said.
” 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 North West Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Isa 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 preparednes with a view to proffer solutions towards efficient and effective disaster management in the Zone.
Mr. Ishaya Isah Chonoko explained that the meeting involved all stakeholders to develop preparedness, mitigation and response strategies which cannot be over emphasized.
He said recent floods in Kaduna made it necessary for the agency to call 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 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 emphasized. He said”
He used the forum to warn that unless disaster management and risk reduction are effectively driven at all levels, their impacts will be extremely difficult and costly to address.
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.