The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is sensitising residents of Rikkos in Jos, Plateau capital, on prevention of cholera disease and dangers of building on waterways.
NEMA North Central Zonal Coordinator, Mr Eugene Nyelong, said on Wednesday that the exercise was aimed at preventing disasters.
Nyelong, represented by Mr Musa Nurudeen, Principal Search and Rescue Officer, said that NEMA that was saddled with the responsibility of disaster management, wanted to shift from management to prevention.
The coordinator stated that one way to prevent disasters was to sensitise the people on preventive measures to avert disasters from occurring.
“Rikkos is one of the communities that has very large population which an outbreak of cholera will cause a serious damage or harm to the society.
“We feel that we should come to the community and sensitise them on the prevention and treatment of cholera disease,” he said.
According to him, apart from cholera prevention, the participants will be sensitised on the dangers of building on the waterways.
He said that Rikkos was a community that experienced flooding almost on annual basis.
Nyelong said that there was a connection between flooding and cholera, hence the need to sensitise the people on both.
He said that the community leaders whom were part of the sensitisation were expected to take the messages to their respective communities.
Dr Ibrahim Hayatu, who spoke on the prevention of cholera, said that rainy season was a period during which the disease was common in tropical Africa.
“Cholera is a serious public health concern, particularly in Nigeria.
“Globally, 95,000 people die and 2.5 million get infected or come down with the disease annually. Cholera is caused by a bacterium called ‘vibro cholere’.
“The bacterium can adapt to different environments, it can stay on surfaces of water that people drink.
“If the feces touches water and other people use it, they will get infected and the whole community may have an outbreak,” Hayatu said.
He listed the symptoms of cholera to include excessive vomiting and acute diarrhea.
Mr Chindo Abdulkareem, Director of Town Planning, Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB), advised those residing in waterways to relocate as there may be heavy rainfall.
Abdulkareem said that JMBD does not approve construction of structures on waterways and any building found in such areas is deemed illegal.