The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has adopted the use of space-based technology to boost efforts being made to address increasing incidences of disasters in the country.
Director General of NEMA Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi disclosed this in Abuja. He said the space technology would assist to obtain information that could facilitate wide range of opportunities for disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. He spoke through NEMA’s Director of Training Mrs Clem Aisuieni who represented him at the meeting of Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) of the United Nations Space Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UNI-SPIDER).
He said the use of space technology for disaster has become imperative because ‘it is most effective for synoptic viewing and has several potential applications including warning of population at risk to save life and property, mapping of damages, forecasting evolution and further danger; providing support to relief staff to facilitate access and communication, and risk reduction and damage assessment.’
Alhaji Sani-Sidi said Nigeria had benefited from the UN-SPIDER programme in 2010 during the Sokoto flood disaster, adding now that Nigeria is faced with wide range of hazards which include threats of desertification, drought, land degradation, gully erosion, frequent oil spills and more floods, every technology must be deployed to provide necessary assistance to save lives and property.
Also speaking, Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency Dr Seidu Onailo Mohammed said Nigeria will soon launch two space satellites within the next few months which could be beneficial in acquiring useful information for disaster management in the country.
The advisory mission of the UN-SPIDER are in Nigeria to among other goals, assess the country’s capacity and evaluate disaster risk reduction programmes, develop and customize guidelines and templates for including space-based technologies into disaster risk reduction and emergency response, and facilitate access of Nigerian institutions to spaced-based information to support disaster management