Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great joy to welcome you to this capacity building workshop organized for National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) officials across the country.
Training of personnel is a critical component for effective and efficient disaster management. This collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is therefore a step in the right direction to enhance the capacity of Federal and State emergency management officers.
I want to sincerely appreciate the support of UNOCHA, UNICEF, International Federation of Red Cross and other partners for putting this training programme together which is in two cohorts.
The programme is to strengthen the capacity of NEMA and SEMA officials in Humanitarian Coordination Mechanism; Disaster Management Cycle and Institutional Capacity; Resource Mobilization; Information Management; Community Based Disaster Management; Search and Rescue; Incident Command System; Disaster Preparedness; Risk Management; and Early Warning System among others.
The 2022 flood disaster is still fresh in our memory where 665 lives were lost; 3,181 persons injured; 4,476,867 persons affected; 2,437,411 persons displaced; 181,705 houses partially damaged; 174,281 houses totally damaged; 268,044 hectares of farmland partially damaged; and 676,945 hectares of cultivated farmland totally damaged. In order to mitigate similar occurrences, if it occurs, various steps have been put in place by NEMA including production and dissemination of Climate–Related Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies based on the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction released by NiMet and Annual Flood Outlook by NIHSA.
The Agency also carried out risk mapping of the vulnerable LGAs/communities across the country, sensitization and awareness campaign, wrote letters to State Governments whose states are likely to be affected by the impending climate-related disaster in 2023 on the need to take proactive steps, held Press Conference to further cascade the implications of the early warning document, Issued Press Releases, made presentations at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the National Executive Council and aired jingles on flood preparedness among others. The Agency also organized Emergency Coordination Forum meeting of disaster management stakeholders to brainstorm on emergency preparedness and response strategies towards the impending flood disaster.
It is important to note that in order to improve the capacity of our stakeholders in disaster management, training programmes were organized for them in collaboration with United State Fire Service in January, 2023 and with Bournemouth University Disaster Management Center in February, 2023. Another one has been scheduled for January, 2024. This training in collaboration with UNOCHA is another panacea to developing the capacity of stakeholders across the country.
I therefore wish to congratulate the participants that are lucky to be part of this training. I encourage you to pay attention to every detail and ensure you participate in every aspect of the workshop. We will continue to explore avenues to develop the capacity of staff and stakeholders to ensure that all the principles and practices of disaster management are institutionalized.
It is my desire that the long standing relationship between NEMA and UNOCHA be sustained for effective coordination of emergency preparedness and response activities in the Country and for the benefit of people in distress.
Thank you and God bless.