From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Director-General, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi said disaster response agencies in the country must be prepared adequately to swiftly contain ocean surge disasters, in view of rising sea levels in the world.
The DG NEMA reflecting on the catastrophic damage worth over 75 billion US dollars caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in the U.S said the devastating effect of ocean surge is frightening.
He made the call in a message at the opening of a five-day simulation exercise on ‘Ocean Surge Disaster’ for emergency managers, held at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) Jaji, Kaduna.
Represented by Alhaji Akande Iyiola, Deputy Director Training of the agency warned that recent activities on the nation’s shore line calls for caution and adequate preparation to tackle any disaster.
“Lagos and other states in Nigeria bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea are already experiencing ocean surges that are fast eroding the shore-line.
“In, Lagos, the stretch of the shore line between 81 Division, Bonny Camp, NTA, up to Oniru Beach is already impacted. This calls for serious concerted and strategic plans to tackle the menace and to respond swiftly, effectively and efficiently when the need arises,” he said
The exercise, tagged: “Okun Ruu” is aimed at empowering the participants to prepare for the inevitable.
Participants at the training are mainly from security outfits like the Nigeria Navy, Military, Police, Civil Defense, FRSC, LASEMA and other respective stakeholders in disaster management.