During a technical workshop in Abuja in relation to the United Nations Risk Reduction Monitoring and Reporting of the Sendai framework 2015-2030, the Director-General of Nigeria National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Ahmed, emphasised the importance of establishing a comprehensive disaster database and risk information management system within the country to address obstacles related to coordination, communication, information sharing, and logical aspects across different government agencies. The Federal Government has recognised the significance of this initiative in overcoming challenges and improving disaster response and preparedness.
The collaboration between NEMA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has resulted in the organisation of this workshop. The aim of this workshop, as mentioned by Ahmed, is to strengthen the existing databases and capabilities of various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies by creating a comprehensive disaster database. He urged disaster risk managers to actively work towards creating a country where disasters are transformed into challenges that can be overcome, leading to resilience, adaptability, progress, and advancement.
Disaster risk will be reduced while prioritising Nigerians’ well-being.
Ahmed emphasised the vital connection between the well-being of Nigerians and the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction to the stakeholders in turning their knowledge into tangible outcomes. He highlighted the crucial role of monitoring and reporting disaster events in successfully carrying out the objectives of the Sendai Framework, which is the main focus of the workshop. He believes that the adoption of the Sendai Framework in 2015 signifies a significant milestone in establishing a global strategy for reducing the risks associated with natural disasters.
Clement Nze, the Director-General of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), emphasised the need for a thorough evaluation of Nigeria’s disaster risk data during the workshop. He specifically acknowledged the backing of the Sahel Resilience Project (SRP) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the ongoing initiative. Olivier Abayisenga, a UNDP representative, added that bringing various disaster management frameworks together is crucial. He emphasised the importance of interpreting the risk within the development planning process.
UNDP vows support for disaster-free year in collaboration with FG
He mentioned that various organisations and relief organisations have dedicated their efforts to forecasting and managing the risks associated with disasters. Furthermore, he pointed out that these risks have been consistently rising within the nation. Hence, this workshop serves as a valuable platform to initiate conversations regarding its seamless integration into the nationwide development planning process, he highlighted. Abayisenga further restated the UNDP’s unwavering assistance to the federal government in achieving a year without any disasters.
Nigeria is plagued by countless difficulties in handling emergencies, encompassing issues like inefficient synchronisation of emergency responses, inadequate provision of essential tools, poor maintenance of records and data, and absence of governmental commitments. The primary objective of the Sendai Framework revolves around implementing actions that tackle the three aspects of disaster risk: vulnerability and capacity, exposure to hazards, and the underlying characteristics of risks. These actions aim to prevent the emergence of fresh risks, diminish existing risks, and enhance overall resilience.
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Lastly, the NEMA plays a crucial role in disaster response and recovery. As mandated by the Establishment Act of 1999, NEMA serves as the primary coordinating agency for these activities. Its responsibilities encompass a diverse array of administrative, programmatic, and specialised tasks. The establishment of NEMA was driven by the intention of effectively managing and addressing disasters within the country. From its beginning, the agency has dedicated itself to addressing disaster-related issues. By implementing a thorough overhaul of the agency, they have successfully transformed it into a resilient and influential organisation.