In apparent sub-regional solidarity, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has offered to assist The Gambia in the establishment of its own emergency management agency to strengthen efforts at providing safety for lives and property in the West African Sub-region.
The Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi said international cooperation was necessary on matters of disaster management since the occurrence has no respect for national or international boundaries.
He stated this in his office in Abuja while receiving the High Commissioner of The Gambia to Nigeria, Ms Angela Colley Iheme.
He said given the necessary approval and memorandum of understanding, the agency will send some of its technical officers to assist in drawing up the required structures and facilities for efficient and effective disaster management in The Gambia.
Sani-Sidi said though disaster management was still developing in Africa, Nigeria has achieved a lot, particularly in the areas of the structure, qualified personnel, equipment and experience. Despite the success, he said efforts are being made to further strengthen capacity of the agency in view of the increasing occurrence of disasters.
The High Commissioner Ms. Iheme had earlier commended the successes of NEMA in tackling disaster issues in Nigeria and requested supports for her country. Some of these, she said included the rapid evacuation of stranded Nigerians from abroad, responses to bomb blasts and the other disaster situations including floods.
The Gambian government has requested the assistance of NEMA in the establishment of similar outfit to be known as National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA). The country has sent some team and delegation to Nigeria for technical support, to seek areas of cooperation and collaboration as well as learn examples of best practices in disaster management and warehousing.
Some of the teams that visited Nigeria were taking round to selected NEMA’s warehouses, zonal offices and universities where they offered programmes on disaster management.
The Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has acquired some capacities i Disaster Risk Management and recognized globally as a role model in Africa in the areas of disaster preparedness, prevention, and mitigation in meeting the challenges of Climate Change and global warming.