In appraising the global efforts on disaster management, Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi has said Nigeria is making progress in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
Sani Sidi also assured on the commitment of Nigeria to the on-going global effort at framing a successor protocol to the Hyogo Framework for Action on DRR adopted ten years ago, as well as to inform on the country’s readiness towards the global preparatory session for the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction taking place in Japan in 2015.
He said: “Over the last 10 years, with significant inspiration from the Hyogo Framework of Action, Nigeria has made steady progress in developing and strengthening mechanism and platform for disaster risk reduction and mainstreaming same into the National Development Agenda.”
“Disaster Risk Reduction is being mainstreamed into government policies, strategies and plans across sectors and at all levels, focusing especially on strengthening capacities of local communities and the integration of traditional knowledge in risk identification, mitigation and response. These efforts have contributed significantly to the attainment of the primary objective of alleviating poverty, building community resilience and improved standard of living for the people,” he added.
The DG said Nigeria, like most countries in the world, has been increasingly affected by natural, environmental and human-induced disasters and conflicts which have the potentials of undermining the attainment of the country’s development aspirations.
He also said that, “the challenges of disaster management in a developing economy such as ours and in most other African nations cannot be overemphasized. Most countries in Africa and indeed other developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change and other disasters than developed countries and this is further exacerbated by weak coping capacity resulting from weak economy and in some cases, lack of political will.”
“The 2012 flood disaster marked a turning point in the organization of our emergency preparedness and response plans, early warning and early action mechanism on floods and other disasters and strengthening of synergy between the different actors.”
Sani Sidi said in spite of the obvious benefits of the Hyogo framework of action 2005-2015 as blue print for disaster risk reduction, lack of performance and accountability are major setback for its development and implementation in most of the countries and their sub-regions.
He lauded the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the African Union, ECOWAS and the delegates that participated in the to the recent 5th Africa Regional Platform held in Abuja during which the African position was adopted for presentation at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction next year.