By Polycarp Auta
Shendam – To minimise the huge casualties recorded during flooding in Plateau, Christian Aid, an international NGO, has conducted a simulation exercise (SIMEX) in Jos North, Jos East and Shendam Local Government Areas of the state.
The exercise, held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively, across the three localities, was aimed at creating awareness across communities on managing flood distasters when they occur.
Mr Fagbite Bamidele, the Senior Programme Coordinator in charge of Disaster Management and Peace Building in the Organisation, who spoke separately during the exercises, said that the event was part of its “Early Warning and Early Response” system developed to strengthen disaster preparedness in the state.
Bamidele said that the project, which is funded by the European Commission Civil and Humanitarian Aid Operation (ECHO), is targeted at detecting early warnings and how to tackle flooding emergency.
He added that the project was to build community resilience and preparedness to flooding disaster and timely response to disasters in line with the national emergency and disaster response framework.
He explained that it was developed to ensure proper coordination of evacuation and timely response emergency situation by the operating team.
“We have developed a plan, and what we have been doing across these communities in the three LGAs is to put this plan into practice as we await the raining season.
“Those who participated in the symbolic presentation were trained on search and rescue and how to provide first aid to victims of flood disaster or during any other emergency situation
“We are not praying for flood disaster, but we have to plan against uncertainties; we have to take precautionary measures so as not to be cut unawares.
“So, all we are trying to do is to curtail situations were casualties will be high during flooding and ensure that many lives and properties are rescued when it occurs.
“We have conducted trainings for these participants across the LGAs and we have been moving round for the past three days to ensure they have a full grasp of what they have learned and their ability to put it into proper use, ” he said.
According to the programme manager, the choice of the three LGAs was based on their passed history of being flood prone areas.
Bamidele explained that the exercise was conducted in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and the Nigeria Red Cross.