The Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) today 15th June 2023 received the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Disaster Risk Reduction Ms Mami Mizutori who was the Agency’s Headquarters in Abuja on a working visit.
Speaking during the visit, the SR-UNSG Ms Mizutori commended NEMA and Nigeria for being committed to realization of Disaster Risk Reduction in Nigeria. She was particularly happy with the active participation of NEMA at the recent Global Platform on DRR held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where the Director General gave updates on the DRR activities, achievements, challenges and the way forward in Nigeria.
She used the opportunity respond to some of the issues that raised by the DG NEMA during his presentation in New York by assuring that United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction under her charge would support Nigeria in the areas of capacity development to strengthen community resilience.
Responding, the DG NEMA appreciated the UNDRR Head for the visit and assurances to support Nigeria in the areas of Disaster Risk reduction and Disaster Risk Management.
He said “this visit is an inspiration to further strengthen our commitment to disaster risk management in Nigeria. As it is acknowledged, NEMA is the only focal institution mandated with the role to coordinate and drive disaster risk management including disaster risk reduction in Nigeria. Hence your continuous support and collaboration will guide and motivate us in the daunting task ahead in consideration of the growing rate of occurrence of disasters in Nigeria just as obtained across the world.”
He said “the dominant hazards in Nigeria include annual floods, windstorms, drought, erosion, building collapse, market fires, conflict and banditry which have resulted in humanitarian crises, human displacement, and a threat to achieving Sustainable Development Goals, (SDG 2030). These prevailing hazards are further aggravated by climate change and extreme weather events; thus constituting major drivers for recurring disasters in Nigeria with devastating impacts. For instance, the 2022 floods affected more than 4 million people, caused displacement of over 2 million persons and a record death of 665 persons. The floods caused damage and destruction to about 355,986 houses and 944,989
hectares of farmlands. For 2023, available hydro meteorological forecasts from NiMet and NIHSA have indicated high flood risk across the states of Nigeria.
“To address these challenges, the Federal Government with the hindsight of 2022 floods, is developing 3 comprehensive Plan of Action for Preventing Flood Disaster in Nigeria. The Plan Is to integrate structural and non structural measures, ecosystem needs and stakeholder coordination for effective flood management in the country. This is done with the realization that, effective and efficient disaster risk management cannot be achieved without actionable early warning systems.
“NEMA is currently working with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency to downscale flood early warning alerts to communities at risk in the 36 States, the FCT and the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria. The exercise will be flagged off soon in Uyo, Akwa ibom State. NEMA has earlier launched the 2023 Climate-Related Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies based on the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) by NiMet and NIHSA respectively. The document is aimed at supporting sub national level actors to develop localized impact based early warning systems and make adequate emergency response planning. The initiative, is in tandem with the declaration by UN Secretary General, His Excellency, Antonio Guterres in 2022 that every person on earth is protected by early warning by 2027.
Furthermore, he said “NEMA in collaboration with the United Development Program (UNDP) and ECOWAS under the Sahel Resilience Project has conducted series of workshops on the establishment of a National Disaster Database and risk information management for sustainable risk-informed development in Nigeria. The workshop was within the context of the Sahel Resilience project titled, Strengthening Capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation for Resilience in the Sahel Region.
“It is important to state that NEMA, UNDP and ECOWAS have concluded the conduct of workshops in the six geo-political zones of the country on National and Sub-national Platforms for ORR which was held in February, 2017. Amongst several objectives, the Platforms were to provide opportunity to evaluate the state of DRR in Nigeria towards developing a National DRR Strategy and Action Plan 2023-2030 to align with Sendai Framework for ORR 2030 and African Program of Action. Following the appointment of a consultant by NEMA, the African Union Commission, NEMA, UNDP and ECOWAS will hold and inception meeting on 20th June, 2023 to kick start the development of the DRR Strategy for Nigeria. in the same vein, the Federal Government of Nigeria has made appreciable efforts to implement the Sendai Framework for DRR 2030 inclusive of the four Priority areas and the Seven Targets. Efforts have also been intensified to equally implement the F8ive Targets of the African Program of Action.
The DG NEMA used the opportunity to thank the UN DRR head for the visit, describing it “very germane to broaden our DRR networks and understanding of global best practices in disaster risk management.” He further assured “that NEMA is committed to the actualization of the Sendai Framework for DRR and African Program of Action. Notwithstanding all your support, NEMA will continue to request for more partnerships from you to enable us meet up to our local and international obligations on Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk Management.”
The DG NEMA was joined in receiving the visitors by Directors of the Agency. Present were Special Assistant to the DG Mr Idris Abubakar Mohammed, Director Disaster Risk Reduction Dr Daniel Obot, Director Search and Rescue Air Commodore Edward K Adedokun, Director Relief and Rehabilitation Alhaji Alhassan Nuhu, Director Special Duties Dr Onimode Abdullahi Bandele, Director Human Resources Management Alhaji Musa Zakari, Director General Services Mr James Akujobi, Deputy Director Finance and Accounts Mr Aminu Boyi Ringim, Deputy Director ICT/Technical Assistant to DG Alhaji Sani Lokoja and Assistant Director DRR Dr Evans Ugoh as well as some senior staff.
Also, the UNDRR Head was accompanied by the Deputy Chief UNDRR Africa Mr Luca Rossi, UNDRR Risk Programme Officer Katarina Mouakkid Soletesova.