HELD AT THE CONFERENCE CENTRE, ASABA, ON OCTOBER 9-11, 2013
The South-South Zonal Office of NEMA in partnership with the Delta State Government organized a 3-day Emergency Management Summit. The summit was aimed at strengthening the gains derived from the previous summits held at Rivers and Akwa-Ibom States in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
The summit drew its participants from various stakeholders working in the South-South region and beyond in different levels and capacities. These included researchers and research institutions, local and international NGO representatives, relevant government MDAs, CBOs, FBOs, local government representatives, the para-military and military, and various resource persons selected for their role in Emergency Management. The workshop brought 512 participants representing the various stakeholders together.
There were three plenary sessions in which nine presentations were made. There were robust interactive sessions with questions and answers from which maximum inputs were derived from participants.
At the end of the summit, participants made the following observations:
i. Internal displacement in the South-South region is mainly caused by flooding
ii. That there is presently inadequate institutional framework for managing disasters in the region
iii. The region is the most affected by flooding among all the regions in the country
iv. The incidence of internal displacement in the region is grossly underreported
v. Resources allocation to the disaster management sector is grossly inadequate
vi. Some states in the region are yet to set up their SEMAs, in spite of the sustained advocacy by NEMA in line with the National Disaster Management Framework (NDMF)
vii. There are no flood monitoring facilities in the entire region.
viii. The response to disasters in the region is often uncoordinated
ix. The existing gaps in coordination makes the region very vulnerable
x. Relief item distribution is often politicized
xi. The National Disaster Response Plan is often not adopted by stakeholders.
xii. Pipeline vandalization also constitute a major concern in the region
xiii. The location of NEMA’s office in the region is too far from some states
xiv. Local governments in the region are yet to activate their LEMCs
xv. There is the need to awaken communities to get involved in disaster management
xvi. The media is often not involved in emergency management
xvii. The private sector, especially the oil companies, are not doing enough in the South-South to be engaged in emergency management
xviii. The Petroleum Industries Bill (PIB), when passed, will have a positive impact on host communities as regards disaster risk reduction
After paper presentations and exhaustive deliberations during various interactive sessions, the following recommendations were
i . A certain percentage of the ecological fund be dedicated to SEMAs for effective management of disasters should be a regional legislation (a South-South joint legislation) compelling oil companies operating in the region to be involved in disaster management
iii. To improve NEMA’s coordination at vertical and horizontal levels, NEMA should strengthen its capacity in Humanitarian Coordination, Partnership, Advocacy and Information management.
iv. There is the need for discouraging our youths from damaging oil installations
v. Establishment, funding and equipping of SEMAs and LEMCs at the 36 states and 774 local governments of the federation respectivelyshould be given a priority.
vi. NEMA and OCHA should mobilize humanitarian actors to develop standardized rapid and sectorial assessment tools and widely circulate for use.
vii. States without SEMA should establish SEMA backed by law, while all SEMAs should be adequately funded and staffed to ensure effective coordination, Emergency Preparedness and Response.
viii. NEMA should work with sector leads to develop comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation Framework to facilitate proper monitoring, transparency and accountability in disaster response.
ix. Humanitarian actions should be guided by Humanitarian principles: Neutrality, Humanity, Impartiality and Independence.
x. Early recovery should be integrated into response plans to reduce transition period.
xi. Regular de-siltation of gutters, canals, creeks, and river channels through dredging to increase their capacity to contain and evacuate excess flood water. This exercise needs to be regular, instead of the current ad-hoc management approach.
xii. NEMA and SEMAs should adapt to social media as a means of communication during major disasters
xiii. The National Assembly is hereby urged to pass the PIB
xix. Proactive measures should embarked by creating embankments in riverine /coastal areas of the region
xx.There is the need to establish coastal tidal gauges in strategic locations
The summit ended with a resolve by all stakeholders to work more collaboratively with each other and for synergies with other projects and programmes addressing the needs of the region.
Mr Ibarakumo B Walson (ACPO) Mr Odigbo S Chukwudike
(NEMA SSZO) (Office of the SSG, Delta State}
Mr Nwanti Anthony
(Director, Delta State SEMA)