By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
The South-West Zonal Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Sulaiman Yakubu on Wednesday reinstated that NiMET has predicted likely heavy rainfall in 2016.
Mr Yakubu stated this while speaking at a one-day National Consultative Workshop on Frontline Project in Nigeria and Linking Frontline to Post-2015 Development Frameworks organized by Global Network of Civil Society for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), and Centre for Disaster Risk and Crisis Reduction (CDRCR).
Speaking through the NEMA Assistant Coordinator of the agency, Mr. Abdulrazak Adebiyi, the South-West Zonal Coordinator declared that NEMA is leaving no stone unturned at working towards ensuring that Nigerians guide against likely havoc that may arise from the effect of the heavy rainfall.
Mr Yakubu disclosed that already, NEMA has held several meetings with representatives of states across the country on possible ways of making them to fashion out reducing the risks of the prone areas to the risk.
“Every state know about the prediction, we have held meetings with them, NEMA has swung into action by sensitizing them towards reducing the attending risks. We have sensitized them on the climate change and informed them on the need to change our attitudes and ways of life to reduce the risks, there are a lot of publications and publicity to that effect,” he said.
The Executive Director, Centre for Disaster Risk and Crisis Reduction (CDRCR), Mr. Kolawole Amusat in a chat with journalists, declared that the aim of the maiden stakeholders meeting championed by GNDR, an umbrella body of over 60 civil society organizations working on disaster risk management in the country was “to work, discuss and consult on how disaster threats facing the communities at the frontline of disasters can be reduced to the barest minimum”.
According to him, the study carried out in 24 communities in six states of Plateau, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Cross River and Kwara revealed that most rural communities in the six states lack disaster management knowledge.
“This programme was to capture the threats faced by communities at the frontline of disasters as well as current actions taken by various communities to reduce their vulnerability to the threats. The result of our findings was that in the last ten years, there have been increasing damaging and loss of property as a result of disasters,” he said.
The CDRCR Executive Director added that “the study shows that most of the communities at the risk are rural communities, they lack knowledge of disaster management and necessary education that will help them tackle the menace and cope with disaster when it occurred”.
“We are organizing this programme to know how best we can help communities at the frontline of disasters, to prevent disasters and reduce the risks. We have been working with NEMA, SEMA and other stakeholders to prevent the risks”.
He then advocated the strengthening of partnership among stakeholders at all levels to the benefit of the communities at risk, urging all stakeholders including the media in sensitizing the public on the risks involved in disasters.
Prepare for heavy rainfall this year -NEMA
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.