Disaster management: FG, stakeholders move to tackle floods, others 




The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in partnership with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and other stakeholders have moved to tackle floods, fire outbreaks and other disasters in different parts of the country.

Speaking Tuesday in Abuja, during the technical review of the National Disaster Risk Management Policy, the minister, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, represented by the Director of Humanitarian Affairs, Alhaji Ali Grema, said that the policy was critical in relation to the ministry’s programmes and interventions for persons of concern, including the vulnerable poor, persons with special needs, victims of trafficking, internally displaced persons, refugees, among others.

She said: “The National Disaster Risk Management Policy was developed in July 2019 by NEMA, in collaboration with the UNDP and other critical stakeholders. At the time, the new Ministry was not established. 

“Since the establishment of the Ministry, we believe it is pertinent that the Ministry conduct a review of existing policy to better understand the scope and coverage of the policy; new emerging issues from the field and academia, the capacity and limitations of the disaster management stakeholders.

“The ministry aims to make input and further operationalize the policy in relation to its programs and interventions for its person of concern, which include the vulnerable poor; persons with special needs, victims of trafficking; internal displaced persons and refugees, elderly, unemployed and youth.  

“The Ministry has therefore conducted an internal review of the policy, has examined it through a multisectoral lens, such as humanitarian and social development. The review has also enabled the Ministry to assess disaster risk reduction based on the experiences and lessons it has learnt since it was created.  

“The first in-house review focused on conceptualizing the Ministry’s mandates within the policy context, identifying gaps in the policy, and offering recommendations.

“Meanwhile, the second review, which has just been concluded by El-Jehab Limited, focused on building upon those finding, leading to the development of the new coordination structure as well as the monitoring and evaluation framework that will be presented and discussed today. 

“The expected outcome of this session is to ensure stakeholders are aware of the ministry roles and inputs into the policy and that the participants here today review and validate such inputs.”

Also speaking, Fatima Jafar’u, a consultant with the El-Jehab Mubarak, said the policy will address new and emerging issues in the disaster management field; and actively respond to recurrent disasters, including flooding, fire outbreaks, industrial/fuel explosions, epidemics, violence, and communal conflicts across Nigeria.
 She said: “NEMA has developed several plans and policies to operationalize its mandate; address new and emerging issues in the disaster management field; and actively respond to recurrent disasters including flooding, fire outbreaks, industrial/fuel explosions, epidemics, violence, and communal conflicts across Nigeria. A list of these plan, frameworks and policies can be found at the back of the National Disaster Risk Management Policy at Annex 1, on page 45. 

“The current version of the Policy sets out four priority areas: First, the need to raise awareness of disaster risk reduction by risk assessment, communication, early warning and communicating the risk to the public. 

“Second, it calls for the establishment of a multi-stakeholder governance structure that is supported by a legal framework; coordination structure; capacity building; financing model and the participation of locals in planning and response. 

“Third, it prioritizes disaster preaddresses by calling for the development a preparedness framework which can transition activities into response, recovery, and reconstruction phases.

“Finally, it calls for investments in social, economic, and environmental measures to strengthen resilience. It proposes that this is achieved through addressing cross cutting issues with disaster risk management measures in the contexts of (urban) development, humanitarianism, climate change, and conflict.”

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