By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has blamed outbreak of some fire incidents on improper handling of fire and storing of fuel, especially in residential buildings, while warning against this act as harmattan sets in.
The Head, NEMA, Ekiti Operations Office, Mr. Saheed Akiode, said this at a workshop organised by the agency for some stakeholders, which included security agents in Osogbo, on Wednesday.
Akiode said that the agency organised the workshop as part of its efforts to sensitise Nigerians on the need to build resilient communities and to enforce environmental laws for safer cities.
He said, “Dry season has started, we must ensure that we don’t handle fire carelessly. There is no need to store fuel inside residential buildings. Some people do it, but this is dangerous.
“Bush burning should be stopped and security agents should arrest anybody caught. People should learn to cut grasses in their surroundings and not burning them.
“Some throw away the stump of cigarettes carelessly; this should be discouraged and those who do such should stop. Everybody needs to be watchful and ensure that some careless people do not endanger their lives unnecessarily.”
A resource person, Dr. Olwasinaayomi Kasim, said that the nation had lost so much to disasters, saying everything must be done to prevent disasters.
Kasim said safer cities could not be achieved by responding to disasters but by ensuring compliance to laws guiding building and other environmental laws.
Another resource person, Bolanle Ojo, said that disasters were undermining the efforts of government and individuals to develop the nation.
Ojo said in a disaster resilient community, land use planning systems and building control arrangement reduce its exposure to unreasonable risks from known hazards.
She added, “A community becomes disaster-resilient when it is prepared for the inevitable natural hazards that are likely to occur at the wrong time and in the wrong place relative to the city’s social constructs”.