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NEMA partner Kano to enhance disaster early warning measures at grassroots

NEMA partner Kano to enhance disaster early warning measures at grassroots
August 03
16:16 2023

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Kano state government have launched an initiative to cascade disaster early warning measures to the grassroots.

The event, themed “Downscaling of disaster early warning measures to grassroots for effective life-saving early actions during 2023 rainy season”, was held at the Kano state house on Thursday.

Speaking at the event, Mustapha Ahmed, NEMA director-general, said Nigeria is facing a growing rate of human and nature-induced disasters that are causing loss of lives and properties.

While noting that certain incidents can be prevented, Ahmed said NEMA’s partnership with the Kano state government will enhance effective disaster risk management, and improve food security as well as socio-economic growth in the country.

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“The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) released their 2023 seasonal climate prediction (SCP) and annual flood outlook (AFO), respectively early in the year,” he said.

“The documents contained meteorological forecasts indicating early onset of rainfall and high probability of flooding across the country.

“It is on this premise that NEMA decided to take the initiative to downscale early warning alerts to states, local government and communities at risk of flood disaster and associated hazards.

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“This will enable them to make appropriate plans that can save lives, livelihoods, critical national assets and the natural ecosystem, which is the bedrock for sustainable development.

“Flood disaster in Nigeria has become predictable and yet, annually recurring with substantial human and material costs. In line with the NEMA paradigm shift towards disaster risk reduction, we have decided to support states, LGAs and communities to take responsibility for disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.

“We are compelled to drive this communication in order to avoid a repeat of what we experienced last year.

“In 2022, Nigeria experienced the most devastating flood disaster with more than four million people affected, over two million persons displaced and a record deaths of 665 people. The flood also caused damage and destruction to about 355,986 houses and 944,989 hectares of farmlands.

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“There are different categories of disasters. Certain disasters can be avoided, others can be adaptable. Yet, we can only achieve this by deploying credible information, developing the right plans and getting people at the grassroots to provide timely responses when disasters hit.

“The first lifesaving responders are always the locals before additional support will come from the state capital or Abuja.

“We must therefore strive to support our local emergency management committees (LEMCs) with adequate capacity building, funding and equipment to take disaster risk management to the communities.

“With this, we can be able to build safe and resilient communities. This initiative will no doubt enable us to take risk-informed decisions and to match early warnings with early actions.

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“Furthermore, this partnership will enhance effective disaster risk management, safeguard our national food security and engender sustainable socio-economic growth in Kano state and in Nigeria.

“To once more drive NEMA partnership with Kano SEMA, we are soon sending them invitations for executive level capacity building programmes to be organised by the Bournemouth University Disaster Risk Management Centre to be hosted by NEMA.

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“We are inviting Kano SEMA for a capacity building program organised by UN-OCHA and to be hosted by NEMA.”

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