For sustainable proactive disaster management, Nigeria has adopted the implementation of measures aimed at increasing capacity of its citizens to promote risk reduction and reduce their vulnerabilities, the Director General of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, has said.
Addressing the 2017 General Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, DRR, in Cancun, Mexico at the weekend, Mr Maihaja said support from the political leadership spurred the agency to take appropriate actions on reducing risks, disaster preparedness, mitigation and recovery in the country.
He said the federal government has empowered and equipped NEMA “to comprehensively manage disasters in Nigeria, with a fully functional Department of Disaster Risk Reduction” already created in the agency.
In furtherance to this, he said the agency has continued to engage and champion Disaster Risk Reduction activities both at National and International level.
Some of these, according to him, include the hosting of the Fifth Africa’s Regional Platform in Abuja, National Sensitization Workshop on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, produced and validated a plan of action for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, established and set up machinery to further strengthen the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and development of a draft National Policy on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Mr Maihaja, said the measures adopted by the government through NEMA would also help to address some of the internal challenges due to “climatic changes that have negatively affected our socio-economic activities leading to low productivity, low economic growth, social conflicts, diseases, human migrations, cross border conflicts and rise in crime rate, among others.”
He also identified the problem of insurgency as one of the major challenges that the government has been confronting, noting that “our nation is currently emerging from the effects of her worst humanitarian challenges”.
He said the Boko haram insurgency is an unwarranted conflict that has brought untold hardship and monumental losses, resulting in high number of displaced persons, some have even been forced to take refuge in neighboring countries.
“The Recovery process is daunting and we continue to solicit for support,” he said.
“Most recently we have also had to face the challenge of responding to the human losses due to Meningitis.”
While also noting the trans-boundary nature of the conflicts and disasters, Mr Maihaja solicited “a united front to fight our common enemies including terrorism, climate change and conflicts.”