The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in celebration of the 2020 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, has flagged off a sensitisation campaign ahead of the dry season, which is usually replete with fire disasters.
During the sensitisation campaign held Friday in Abuja, the minister, Hajia Sadia Umar Farouq, said October 23, every year, had been set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness, educate the public and mobilise political will and resources in ensuring disaster risk reduction globally.
“The ministry’s focus is on strengthening the existing strategies for disaster risk reduction and to facilitate the development of new ones, where there are gaps, in line with international best practices, as contained in the Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015. Today, we are translating the call for disaster risk reduction into action and departing from the normal rhetoric in making international days with speeches.
“Hence, the ministry has organised this simulated fire exit drill, which focuses on raising awareness among the public and private organisations as well as mitigating the risks of fire, especially in the high rising buildings.
“The purpose of the fire exit/evacuation drill is to ensure effective and efficient use of the exit facilities available in case of emergencies. Such drills ensure orderly exit under control and prevention of panic that has been responsible for much of the loss of life in major fire disasters,” she said.
Also speaking, the assistant comptroller in charge of operations, Pepe Samson Karebo, said fire service personnel now respond promptly to distress calls, without running out of fuel or water, as they now have state of the art equipment, unlike what was obtainable 30 years ago.
“I want everyone to be conscious this dry season. Some people ignite fire they can’t control, especially during harmattan. However, the good news is that we are in every state with good equipment and always respond promptly to distress calls,” he said.