A cross session of experts in disaster Management in Edo state, have rallied support for the establishment of research based and well founded disaster management agencies (DMA), among the arms of government in the state.
Dr Grace Alufokahai, a Consultant with Goalhai Nigeria Enterprise, gave the indication in a report titled: “Natural disaster Management strategies in the Niger Delta region”, saying the effort was intended to mitigate the challenges of climate change.
Alufokaha, made the call at a workshop, organized by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) in collaboration with the Edo state Ministry of Environment and Public Utilities in Benin.
She also informed that “a study we conducted revealed the absence of pre and post disaster management strategies in the four states badly affected by the 2012 flood disaster in the country.”
According to Alufokaha, “these agencies if established with well trained and equipped personnel will help improve the state of preparedness, management during disasters, and after disasters.”
“Such a ministry would also take care of disasters like gully erosion, drought, fire outbreaks, desertification and even oil pollution…and for establishing a database on disaster related issues and the gathering and dispatching of information on climatic change issues, rainfall and other climatic conditions and related issues,” she said.
She also said that existing disaster agencies lacked qualified personnel, adequate fund and logistics to address disasters, identifying inadequate relief camps, makeshift camp structures, dishonest practices in distribution of relief materials and inadequate transport facilities etc. as constrains in managing the 2012 flood disaster in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking on the rationale for the workshop, however, Mr David Ugolor, Executive Director of ANEEJ said, “the workshop is meant to present the study by Dr Alufohai and discuss disasters generally with the outcome serving as a prelude for the setting up of disaster management agencies in states and local governments where they currently do not exist.”