By Bushra Yusuf-Badmus
Ilorin – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Minna Operations Office (MOO), has called on residents of Kwara and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to embark on measures that will mitigate disasters in the state.
The Head of Minna Operations Office, Lydia Wagami, in a statement issued on Saturday in Ilorin to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), said this had become necessary in order to prevent or reduce damage to social infrastructure.
Wagami said that the call was also in line with the theme for this year’s IDDR which is “reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services”.
She stated that over the years, disasters, especially flooding, had destroyed social amenities like bridges, roads, hospitals and schools in the state and had greatly disrupted the functioning of many communities, including health and educational activities.
According to her, the theme for the 2019 IDDR is a continuation of the “Sendai Seven” campaign, which centres on the seven targets of Sendai Framework.
She explained that the framework sought to develop the resilience of communities in order to prevent or reduce the damage on infrastructure.
The NEMA chief, therefore, advocated for participation by both government and NGOs in the protection of social infrastructures across the state.
Wagami observed that in line with a popular maxim which says “prevention is better than cure”, communities needed to be actively involved in both structural and non-structural mitigation of disasters in the state.
This, she said, would not only reduce the damage but also reduce the inconveniences that could result from any damage to critical infrastructure.
On the flood situation in the state, Wagami said that there had been an improvement in the management of flood disaster compared with the previous year.
She commended the people of the state for adhering to early warnings and signals that were disseminated ahead of the rainy season.
Wagami said that for those who suffered some degrees of damage, the agency had embarked on an on-the- spot assessment of the affected areas, adding that continuous support would be given to the state to cushion the effect of the damage suffered.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oct. 13 of every year is has been set aside to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction. (NAN)