NEMA, stakeholders develop disaster risk reduction strategy, action plan

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is developing a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Strategy and Action Plan for Nigeria to mitigate disasters.

NEMA Director General (D-G), Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, said that the development of a DRR strategy and action plan was imperative, in view of the frequent man-made and natural disasters.

Ahmed, who was represented Dr Daniel Obot, NEMA Director of Disaster Risk Reduction, said this at the opening of a two-day workshop on disater mitigation, on Monday in Jos.

The D-G stated that management of disasters was currently anchored on preparedness, mitigation, risk reduction and adaptation.

However, he said that could not be achieved in Nigeria without the full deployment of a strategic action plan with clearly assigned roles and responsibilities to implementing ministries, departments and agencies.

Ahmed pointed out that the need for the development of the plan arose from the findings of the assessment conducted by the Overseas Development Institute.

He emphasised that the unprecedented frequency of disaster risks such as banditry, boat mishaps, building collapses, urban and market fires and climate change, further ignited the compelling desire to develop the plan.

“This activity is under the Sahel Resilience Project, titled; “Strengthening Capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation for Resilience in the Sahel Region: Fostering Risk-Informed Solutions for Sustainable Development.

“The project is organised within the context of multi-partnership, in collaboration with the UNDP Resilience Project, and the African Union Commission (AUC).

“Nigeria is grateful to the international organisations and the government of Sweden, as the sole sponsor of the project, which is expected to strengthen the resilience of the Sahel Region.

“This is a region regarded as one of the poorest in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a fragile economy, environmental degradation, extreme weather conditions, poverty, insecurity posed by terrorism and political uprisings,” he stated.

Dr Sunday Amama, Representative of UNDP, Nigeria Sahel Resilience Project, said that the national DRR strategy was for 2024–2030, and the action plan was for 2024–2026.

Amama stated that disaster risk management at all levels was key to building the resilience of communities and economies to disasters.

“As a signatory to the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction, Nigeria has been working diligently towards achieving its targets.

“Our shared objective with NEMA is to develop a new disaster reduction strategy for Nigeria that is in line with the African Union’s Programme of Action.

“The objective is also for regional efforts to strengthen disaster preparedness and response capabilities in West Africa and the Sahel region.

“Within the next two days, we will define the strategic directions with guiding principles and actionable plans, for coordinated actions and effective disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and risk reduction in the country,” he explained.

Mr Eugene Nyenlong, NEMA North Central Zonal Coordinator, said in his remarks that the workshop was to get inputs from relevant stakeholders in the zone for the development of the plan.

Nyenlong stated the workshop also presented an opportunity to gather information that would enable NEMA to further address risk management issues in Nigeria, with regards to emerging disaster context, progress and gaps.

Prof. Andrew Obafemi, the workshop consultant, presented a paper titled; “International Policy Frameworks and Conceptual Understandings.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the participants at the workshop were disaster management stakeholders from different organisations. (NAN)

By Peter Amine

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