The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was established via Act 12 as amended by Act 50 of 1999, to manage disasters in Nigeria. It has been tackling disaster related issues through the establishment of concrete structures.
MissionTo coordinate resource towards efficient and effective disaster prevention, preparation, mitigation and response in Nigeria.
Vision: To build a culture of preparedness, prevention, response and community resilience to disaster in Nigeria.
FUNCTIONS OF NEMA
The Act vested the authority of managing disasters in Nigeria NEMA. According to the enabling law; the Agency shall among the other things,
(a) Formulate policy on all activities relating to the disaster management in Nigeria and co-ordinate the plans and programmes for efficient and effect response to disasters at national level;
(b) Monitor the state of preparedness of all
FACILITIES AND INFRASTUCTURES NEMA ADOPTS FOR COORDINATING DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Mission Control Centre (MCC)
The mission Control Centre located in the Headquarters of NEMA is a computer based satellite technology that uses the COSPAS-SARSAT hi-tech system/facility. The system is designed to pick distress alerts and location data to assist in Search and Rescue Operation, using spacecraft and ground facilities to detect and locate the signals of distress beacons operating on 406 MHz. When there is a distress alert from the beacon located on a ship or aircraft, the satellite system transmits the signal to the ground segment facilities from where the data is processed and transmitted to the appropriate Mission Control Centre (MCC). The MCC now alerts the nearest Rescue Coordinating Centres (RCC) or Disaster Reaction Units (DRU) of the Army, Air Force, and the Navy for appropriate and immediate action.
Geographic Information System (GIS)
The agency has established a functional GIS lab for early warning and precision in response to the management. The lab collects spatial data, analyses and prepares useful information that helps to aid responses to disaster. It is one of the significant facilities of the agency for its disaster risk reduction programme.
Time is a crucial element in disaster management. In recognition of this, the agency obtained approval and procured facilities for mobile clinics that have been strategically stationed in Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos and Port Harcourt to be deployed in the event of any major disaster. While arrangements are on to acquire more of the clinics, the agency has also procured a good number of ambulances stationed in Abuja and all the six zonal offices.
Helicopter for Search and Rescue
The agency has in place a helicopter for search and rescue. The helicopter is station in Abuja and manned by Officers of the Nigerian Air force. Necessary arrangements are being concluded to acquire additional helicopter which we hope that with time there would be one for each of the six geo-political zones.
POLICIES AND STRATEGIES
i. Contingency stockpiling
To ensure prompt and efficient response to disasters, the agency establishes warehouse in its six zonal offices and Abuja and stock them with relief and rehabilitation items. This is to ensure timely intervention in response.
ii. Search and Rescue (SAR)/Epidemic Evacuation Plan
The plan which was approved in 2008 allows for a system where all stakeholders can draw on collective strength of one another and build a formidable group of highly mobile, motivated, dedicated and trained workforce of disaster managers.
iii. Collaboration with Security Agencies
Security agencies constitute the major stakeholders of the agency. Over the years, we have ensure a successful collaboration with the security agencies through regular meetings, workshops, simulation exercises and training utilising every opportunity to advance the cause of disaster management in the country.
iv. National Disaster Response Plan
The plan is a document approved by the Federal Executive Council which states the roles of stakeholders and the call out plan in response to disasters. The document is presently undergoing a review to update and made more functional.
v. Training and capacity building.
In NEMA we believe in the preparation of the human resources for optimal performance. I discovered when I came that there was need to establish a full department for this purpose. Therefore, with the appropriate approval, the department of training was established which develops the curriculum and coordinate the human resources development of the agency in addition to catering for the training needs of the stakeholders. Today I am proud to announce that our staff are continuously trained locally and abroad on modern skills which qualify them to be good disaster managers as obtain in other part of the world.
vi. Advocacy/stakeholder meeting
The agency engages in advocacy to ensure the preparedness of the stakeholders. Through this, it assesses available equipment and facilities at the disposal of the stakeholders. In the absence of such or where seriously inadequate in supply, it encourages the provision. The agency also ensures a close tap on the stakeholders through regular meeting and activities.
vii. Disaster Risk Reduction
Hitherto, disaster management in country was mainly humanitarian relief supplies with huge funds expended annually on perennial emergencies. The paradigm shift in disaster risk management offers a good opportunity to build, develop and sustain policies pertaining to social development, equity, economic growth, environmental quality and sustainable land use. Experiences have revealed that in disaster management attention should be given to prevention and mitigation rather than to wait for the aftermath. In recognition of this, disaster managers the world over have continued to give serious attention to risk reduction strategies. In NEMA we have developed a special programme in this regard and with the cooperation of the stakeholders have embarked on a series of training, sensitization and initiatives to promote the required consciousness on specific and general disasters. The programme emphasizes on the mainstreaming of disaster management into national development policies.
viii. Awareness generation
More than half of the disasters in the country are man made arising from deliberate intent, error or negligence. Disasters of man made origin can be minimised by arousing the consciousness of the people through awareness generation. The Agency utilises awareness generation against disasters as the cornerstone in building a culture of sustainable resilience to disasters.
ix. Six zonal offices
In its desire to decentralise disaster management and ensure active participation of the grassroots, the agency established functional zonal offices located in each of the six geo-political zones of the country as follows: North Central (Jos), North West (Kaduna), North East (Maiduguri), South West (Lagos), South South (Port Harcourt) and South East (Enugu). The zones provide for quicker response to disaster situations before any action from the head office. The zonal offices are the extension of the agency in their various locations having the responsibilities of implementing policies and carrying out any other assigned functions. Efforts are being made to establish additional zonal offices. Call centres are also to be established across the country for quick reaction to distress alerts. Through the zonal offices, the grassroots now have direct access to the agency as disaster intervention is also decentralised. The intervention period has significantly improved to just about two days for assessment and delivery of relief assistance for urgent situations.
x. Disaster Response Units (DRUs)
These are units in military formations dedicated to emergency/disaster responses. The involvement of the military is necessitated especially for situations that may require physical human strength and some military equipment. The units exist in identified Army, Navy and Airforce formations across the country.
All correspondences should be addressed to:
Public Relations Division, National Emergency Management Agency, No. 8, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent Maitama, Abuja
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org