By Salisu Sani-Idris
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is collaborating with stakeholders to review the National Contingency Plan (NCP) to reposition the country against the impact of disasters.
The Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, made the disclosure at a two-day Experts Technical Workshop on Disasters Risk Management Implication of NiMET’s 2019 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) on Monday in Abuja.
Maihaja, who was represented by the Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA, Air Commodore Akugbe Iyamu, said the review of the national contingency plan would save many lives from preventable causes.
According to him, relevant stakeholders can also use the national contingency plan as justification for organisational preparedness, using the roles that had been assigned to them in the plan.
He said that the impact of disasters on lives, properties and environment depends on the country’s level of preparedness, which relies on efficient early warning systems.
The director-general commended the NiMet and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) for their consistency in releasing weather-related information, including SRP, Flood Outlook and other weather monitoring bulletin.
Maihaja said that the release of the SRP serves as an excellent tool for all relevant stakeholders against any potential hazard.
“In 2018, NiMet and NIHSA released weather and hydrological information for the country, especially on the possibility of flooding in certain locations, upon which NEMA and other stakeholders acted on.
“Consequently, the flood affected some parts of the country, which led to the declaration of national disaster in 12 states by the agency.
“The flood affected 129 local government areas and a total of 2,321,592 people. In all, 199 deaths were recorded, while 4,107 people were injured and resulting in over 600,000 Internally Displaced Persons.
“The damages to property and agriculture land were also massive as over 100,190 houses were damaged and 382,368 agriculture crop lands were destroyed.
“The flood also affected water, sanitation and hygiene facilities of the people,” Maihaja said.
He assured that NEMA would collaborate with relevant stakeholders to put together in a simplified manner, the disaster risk management implication for the 2019 SRP.
According to him, the reports at the end of the workshop will provide information on disaster management implications on agriculture, water resources, health and infrastructure.
Maihaja expressed optimism that the workshop would proffer recommendations to cushion anticipated effects of the predictions.
“This document, when produced, will be disseminated to all the relevant stakeholders to prompt them to take the necessary actions required, to facilitate disasters risk reduction, in their areas of jurisdictions.”
Mr Kayode Fagbemi, Director, Planning, Research and Forecasting of NEMA, said the agency would map vulnerable communities based on the prediction as indicated by climate risk monitoring agencies.
This, according to Fagbemi, will enhance and direct enlightenment campaign in critical states. (NAN)