In anticipation of a possible escalation of the COVID -19 pandemic, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, on Wednesday, met with stakeholders to develop strategic plans for the provision of food and water for people.
Speaking at the meeting, Bitrus Samuel, Head, Abuja Operations of NEMA, said that the move was to ascertain the capacity of Kogi State Emergency Management Agency, KOSEMA, and the readiness of other critical stakeholders, in case the situation escalated.
“Following the activation of the National Emergency Operation Centre on COVID-19 pandemic by NEMA, we are in Kogi to hold meeting with the relevant ministries and non-governmental organizations.
“The meeting is aimed at coming up with strategic plans for the provision of food and water to the people,” Samuel, who was represented by his deputy, Reuben Babatunde, said.
The Executive Secretary of KOSEMA, Julius Mejiyan, while speaking at the meeting, appealed to NEMA to assist the state with logistics and supply of food and water, whenever the need arose.
Mr Mejiyan said that the state government had constituted a 29-man squadron committee to contain and prevent the spread of the disease to the state.
He also said that the government was working with other stakeholders to sensitise and educate the people, especially those at the grassroots on how to improve their personal hygiene and other measures to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
Also speaking, the state Secretary of the Red Cross Society, Danasabae Usman, called for synergy among stakeholders for effective operation.
He said that the society had put its volunteers on red alert to assist in the provision of food and water for people, if the need arose.
Usman, however, added that the society had the capacity to cover only 14 out of the 21 local government areas in the state.
Other stakeholders, like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence, community development associations and the media, among others, also expressed their readiness to assist in getting water and foods across to people in case of a total lockdown.
They, however, pleaded with the state government to provide operational vehicles and other logistics that would help in discharge the assignment effectively.