NEMA set to tackle floods, meets with stakeholders on disaster response

Mr Ishaya Chonoko, the Coordinator, Abuja Operations Office, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said NEMA had put in place measures to respond promptly to disasters in states under its operations.

Chonoko said this on Thursday in Abuja at an experience-sharing meeting with relevant stakeholders in emergency response.

He listed states under the Abuja operation office to include Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Kaduna and the FCT.

He said the experience-sharing meeting was part of efforts by the office to respond to the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) rainfall predictions for 2013.

“This meeting is part of what we are doing this year in order for us to brainstorm and share experiences on common incidences that are normally associated with downpours.

“Apart from flooding, the biggest challenge we normally experience, especially when there is too much rainfall, has to do with building collapse.

“The essence of this meeting, therefore, is to put stakeholders on alert and build their capacity, especially in terms of response and to look at global best practises of responding to collapsed building cases.’’

Chonoko said the exercise was also aimed at achieving acceptable disaster response time in line with global best practise.

“It is also to identify and re-emphasise the lead agency structure in emergency response, as well as build the capacity of stakeholders in emergency response,’’ he said.

He said the meeting was also intended to make stakeholders in disaster management proactive, as well as increase their level of preparedness.

The coordinator added that the meeting was crucial “so that stakeholders will be on the alert as the country approaches the peak of the rainy season.’’