November 28, 2021

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Why disaster risk coordination is difficult -FG

The Federal Government has said that parts of difficulties in the nation’s quest to mitigate natural disaster across the country was lack of participation of communities and their leadership in rescue and disaster prevention efforts.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the November Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) Lunch Time Seminar Series.

It was theme “Humanitarian Policies and Effective Coordination of National and International Humanitarian Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness and Responses Intervention in the Face of Global Pandemic: The Nigerian Experience”.

The minister represented by the Deputy Director (Disaster Management) Humanitarian Affairs Department, of the ministry, Engr. Abubakar A. Suleiman, also said that poor funding of disaster risk reduction activities and plans were other factors that is needed to be addressed.

The minister said that her ministry in carrying out its coordination roles in the humanitarian space has developed policies, plans and frameworks to ensure a whole government approach in the delivery of humanitarian services across board.

She also said that flood emergencies are the only perennial emergencies in Nigeria, yet it has no plan for preparedness nor response.

She said, “The implementation of the framework is expected to facilitate peace and stability by promoting an innovative and home-grown approach to improving coordination.”

While listing the traditional disaster management cycle that include mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, the minister said that this linear fashion always results in a fixation on response, hence the ministry’s dynamism to address the challenges.

She said, “Disaster Risk Reduction is a multi-disciplinary area that requires strong governance institutions, legislation, plans, funding support to succeed. As the Ministry charged with responsibility of coordinating Federal Government effort on all humanitarian issues, we remain committed provide durable solutions to enable victims of humanitarian challenges.”

Speaking earlier, the Director-General BPSR, Mr. Dasuki I. Arabi, represented by the Head Strategic Innovation and Research (SIR), Ms. Mercy Okon, said that the topic was chosen in the face of the present national and global challenges.

“With the present global health emergency of COVID-19, which affected virtually everything, the security challenges of banditry, kidnapping and insurgency, the early offset of rain this year which affected farmers yield, and flood in some areas, with many other problems bedeviling our country, there is no better time to hold this kind of discussion than now,” he said.

He also said that over the last two years, the ministry, through its various departments and agencies has been working to provide relief material to victims of various disasters, especially the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) across the country.