From Femi Oyelola, kaduna
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) it set to partner Nigeria Airforce in the area of rescue mission during disaster.
Director General NEMA Engr. Mustapha Maihaja made the disclosure during a visit to the 401 Flying Training School NAF Base Kaduna state yesterday.
Maihaja who assured the staff of the Flying School, that stakeholder will henceforth participate in joint trainings to provide better response to emergencies.
“One of the gaps identified by the Commander of 401 Training School is the need for joint training, this is noted and I assure you we would have a special session where this gap and others would be discussed,” he assured.
He said that NEMA is saddled with responsibility of disaster management in all ramifications “Disaster has a circular activity from prevention, mitigation to response.
NEMA coordinates all activities of stakeholders in disaster management circle.
“The agency is also charged with responsibility of coordinating disaster management of humanitarian crisis,” he added.
NEMA DG said that the agency has developed so many policies, including the National Disaster Response Plan, which guides disaster management in Nigeria.
“the main component is establishing a disaster response unit which forms an integral part. Disaster categorised into three, minor, major and catastrophic.
“FG response only comes when it is catastrophic. Others can be handled by SEMA or local authorities.
“But today in NEMA, we find ourselves also managing minor disasters,” he added.
Speaking further, he said that NEMA and its activities are directly under the Presidency.
“The president declares a catastrophic disaster and all units, including the Army, Navy and Air force disaster units are activated and coordinated by NEMA,” he said.
“We cannot run away from natural disasters, mostly owing to the climate change. As disaster managers, we would do all within our powers to ensure that NEMA is prompt in response to disasters,” he assured.
He explained that the visit to all disaster units in the country commenced with that 401 Flying Training School.
In his welcome remark Commander 401 Flying Training School, Group Captain Ahmed Yusuf Dari said that the school was established in 1964 for organising flying training for NAF Pilots and also serves as a disaster response unit.
“It was upgraded in 1970 and upgraded again in 1984. It operates Air Beetle and other aircrafts,” he added.
Group Captain Dari said that the school is designated a direct emergency response unit.
“Our achievements include 12 casualty and 13 medical evacuation missions within the last 6 months”.
The Commander told the NEMA DG that the unit seeks assistance from the agency in terms of training, search and rescue operations, as well as scuba diving training.
“In executing the unit’s responsibilities, we have tried to operate within our safety limits and we got assistance from NEMA in 2016. NEMA conducted 60% of operations in that accident,” he added.