By; AMOS MATHEW, kaduna
Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria (CRUDAN) in has trainee stakeholders on disaster management in Plateau State via a one-day workshop to sensitize the participants on ways to prevent or tackle disasters whenever they occur.
Speaking at the workshop which was funded by Tearfund, CRUDAN’s Executive Director, Ruth Dul, said the workshop will build the capacity of the participants and the stakeholders on disaster management, rapid response technique as well as how to pass the knowledge gathered across to members of the community.
She said CRUDAN staff were among the participants because it is imperative to build the capacity of internal persons, and not just external stakeholders alone since their staff are integral part of the initiative and they are expected to be the initial people to extend disaster management awareness to other members of the society.
Dul said disaster is something that happens unexpectedly and with negative consequences of lives and properties, and of which the victims are often not prepared for it. Hence, she said, there is a need to build the capacity of people to know how to prevent or handle/tackle these inimical emergencies whenever they occur.
According to her, they will also prepare the people ahead of disasters even though they are yet to occur, because it is better to be prepared for it (not necessarily that you should be expecting it or looking forward to it) and it does not happen than for it to happen and you are not prepared for it.
She said despite the fact that they are a Christian association, they have worked with and developed the capacity of non Christians alike, and that regardless of ethno-religious belonging, they carry out their mandate/programmes and impact lives across different communities without bias or preference.
She thanked their partners tearfund for their passion in environmental sustainability, humanitarian programmes and disaster management.
In his presentation, CRUDAN’s Director of Programmes, Tobi Salawu, described disaster as a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources.
“A disaster can be natural disaster is sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life. Example of this is floods, drought, earthquakes, landslide, disease pandemic like lassa fever, ebola, coronavirus, bird flu etc.
“There is also man-made disasters like hazardous material spills, fires – including bushfires, groundwater contamination, transportation accidents, structure failures/collapse of buildings, mining accidents, explosions (pipeline and tankers) and acts of terrorism.
“Regardless of the nature of the disaster, what to do whenever they occur is emergency response, rehabilitation of victims, mitigation and preparedness,” he said.
In his remarks, the Country Director of Tearfund, Paul Mershak, represented by Godwin Nimel, the Programmme Manager, said Tearfund has deep interest in disaster response.
He thanked CRUDAN for bringing their experience to bear in emergency response starting from when there was flooding at Shendam and how CRUDAN responded, adding that CRUDAN has been responding to disaster and providing humanitarian services for the past seven (7) years especially in the Northeast.
He encouraged participants to think of how to mitigate and respond to disasters as they return to their organizations.