NEMA cautions communities against over-reliance on emergency assistance

Whatapp News

ASABA – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has cautioned communities, especially those prone to natural disasters against over-reliance on emergency assistance from governments and other bodies.
The Zonal Coordinator of NEMA (South-South), Mr Benjamine Oghenah, gave warning on Friday in Asaba during a workshop organised by the agency on building the resilience of communities.
The workshop was organised by NEMA in conjunction with the Delta State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Oghene said that some communities had become mindless about the hazards they faced and allowed such hazards to snowball into disasters, noting that such attitude was counter-productive.
He said that communities should build resilience to disasters in view of the increasing uncertainties associated with climate change and human activities.
He said: “This is because people at the community level are worse hit by specific disasters and constitute the first line of contact.
“Building the capacity of people at the community level provides the building block for an effective national system”.
He said that developing the capacity of communities to enhance their resilience to disaster, involved public education, training, social mobilisation, technical assistance and provision of materials.
Declaring the workshop open, Mr Powell Odjugo, Delta Commissioner for Bureau for Public Utilities, said there was the need for communities to plan against disasters.
Odjugo also said that Nigerians should take precautions against disasters instead of waiting for them to occur and expecting government’s assistance.
“People should understand that such relief materials are just privilege and not rights; they should know that there is no way government can take care of every disaster,” he said.
The commissioner also cautioned against frivolous predictions of disasters in the country by some individuals and agencies, saying that some people had suffered losses, a result of such false predictions.
In a paper titled “Building Disaster Management Structure at the Community Level,” Mrs Akangbou Tosan of Delta SEMA, called for the establishment of local emergency management committees.
Tosan stressed the need for the involvement of community leaders, community-based organisations, vigilante groups and other stakeholders in disaster management.
She also called for enforcement of safety policies in public and private buildings to avoid disasters.
Other papers delivered at the workshop centred on community emergency preparations, role of community-based organisations in building community resilience in challenges and strategies in building resilience. (NAN)

Whatapp News