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The National Emergency management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUU), the Economy Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the Sahel Resilience project organized a two day workshop on the development of national strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and it’s phase one implementation action plan from18th to 19th day of December, 2023 in Kano State.

The workshop was declared opened by the Director General of the agency Alh. Mustapha Habib who stated that the need for the development of this Plan arises from the outcomes of the assessment conducted by Overseas Development Institute on behalf of the United Nations Development Program on the Sahel Resilience Program. The assessment was aimed at ascertaining the status of Disaster Risk Reduction in the evaluation of the implementation of Sendai Framework 2015-2030 in the seven West African Sahel countries of Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal.

The DG who was represented by the Director of Disaster Risk Reduction Mr. Daniel Obot added that findings in the assessment report, indicate that in furtherance to the plans and frameworks so far produced by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), it is necessary to develop comprehensive document for Disaster Risk Management for Nigeria. This plan is also very critical in enabling Nigeria to align with and drive the targets of the Sendai Framework and the African Program of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction. In same vain, the recent escalation and growing frequency and severity of disasters in form of banditry, boat mishaps, building collapse, urban and market fires coupled with hydro-meteorological hazards powered by climate change and climate variability have ignited the compelling desire to develop the Nigeria Disaster Risk Management Plan. The compelling demand has therefore led to the commencement of discussions and partnership between NEMA and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on the actualization of the very important Plan.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, at this juncture, permit me to remind us that today’s event falls under the Sahel Resilience Project; titled “Strengthening Capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation for Resilience in the Sahel Region: Fostering Risk-informed Solutions for Sustainable Development’’. The project covers the seven countries of the Sahel Region earlier mentioned. The project is also within the context of multi-partnership implementation led by the UNDP in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), ECOWAS, UN Women, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, AGHRYMET and other regional organizations. I want to use this opportunity to express the profound gratitude of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to these International Organizations and the Government of Sweden that sponsored the project. The project will no doubt strengthen the resilience of Nigeria and the entire Sahel Region of West Africa.

Today’s event becomes even more pertinent in consideration of the high level of vulnerability and fragility of the countries covered by the Sahel Resilience Project within Africa South of the Sahara. It is on record that the high level vulnerability of this countries is driven by fragile economy, environmental degradation, extreme weather conditions, low level of income and insecurity posed by terrorism and political volatility. There is no doubt that working together with multiple development actors under the Sahel Resilience Project will help the countries of the region to collectively improve their resilience in consideration of trans-boundary nature of disaster events. For us in Nigeria, the Sahel Resilience Project is expected to support the renewed hope agenda of the Federal Government especially in the areas of poverty eradication, food security and inclusivity.

Once again, I am pleased to notice a mixture of participants and experts from diverse professional backgrounds coming together for this two day event. I have no doubt that the objectives of the workshop will be achieved with the expertise of the participants drawn from strategic Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as the United Nations system led by the UNDP. The period of this workshop has coincided with the ongoing evaluation of 2023 flood season by NEMA and efforts to address recurring boat mishap, building collapse, urban and market fires which have become dominant in Nigeria’s disaster risk profile.

Distinguished participants, I find it necessary to stress that management of disaster risks in contemporary time is anchored on Preparedness, Mitigation, Risk Reduction and Adaptation. This can only be realized with the full deployment of a strategic action plan that clearly assigns roles and responsibilities to implementing Federal Government MDAs and other relevant stakeholders. Consequently, I urge you, our esteemed stakeholders, to accord this workshop the very serious attention it deserves. We have been working together over the years, let us sustain the momentum to develop a comprehensive document for disaster risk management in Nigeria, that will go beyond 2030, the Sendai Framework regime. With this passion, I hereby declare this Workshop Open.

In a welcome address by the Territorial Coordinator, NEMA Kano Territorial office Dr. Nuraddeen Abdullahi extends his warm welcome to all participants and he further stated that, the presence of the stakeholders at this consultative workshop is highly appreciated as we come together to discuss on the above mentioned subject matters and look forward to a productive and collaborative session and wish them fruitful deliberations.

The Two-day workshop which is holding at NI’IMA GUEST PALACE, NASSARWA GRA Kano State has participants from NEMA critical stakeholders and representatives of major ministries, Department and Agencies in the North West Zone of the country.

Some of the papers presented today included: Introduction to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and AU PoA: the Four priorities and seven objectives by representatives of AUC/UNDP and Progress and gabs in the implementation of the Sendai Framework by Prof. Andrew A. Obafemi , the National Consultant of the project.

Abdulkadir Kezo Ibrahim IkonAllah

Assistant chief Information Officer New Media

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