An international non governmental organisation, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Nigeria, has held a three-day workshop on disaster risk reduction, proffering solution to climate change and other issues affecting humans in society.
The workshop held in Abuja on Wednesday through Friday, in collaboration with the European Union, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other partners, had in attendance participants drawn from the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, Gambia and other African countries, including Education Programme Manager, Christabel Adewunmi, People Manager, Anselm Ezemson, Disaster Risk Management and Resilience Volunteer, Ihechi Nwarie, among others.
Addressing newsmen at the event, Head of Programmes VSO, Mrs Regina Afiemo, said the purpose of the workshop is to ensure that man-made and natural disasters are curtailed to the barest minimum and that participants are expected to replicate their ideas with their different communities.
She said: “VSO Nigeria is over 60 years and has been delivering impactful programmes in the areas of health, education of livelihoods and recently in the areas of safe, peaceful and resilient community. We do believe that, as an organisation, it is important to work with the primary actors at the community level. We do that through our relational humanitarian services, either through volunteers at different categories or at the national and community levels. This is to be able to strengthen interventions within the community and make the primary actors heart of the solution.
“They can be able to come up with local innovations, in terms of identifying issues and also addressing them. Beyond that, we are also looking at communities that experiences man made or natural disaster. We expect that, after the training, participants will go to the communities where they work and conduct assessment, identifying with those issues that are of high risk to them and put in place measures to militate against such disasters.”
Also speaking, one of the facilitators and Global Resilience Advisor, Mr Jonah Tendere, said that Nigeria, like many African countries, is threatened by natural disasters and that there is need for urgent intervention by government and concerned individuals in fighting climate change.
“This workshop is all about building the capacity of participants; in order to be resilient in the face of disaster. Knowledge is power. Once our communities know what to do, they will be able to face disasters, especially by carrying out risk assessment. Climate change has led to many countries being affected, apart from Nigeria. We just have to mitigate the impact. We should make sure we don’t cut down trees and we should plant more trees; in order to avert natural disasters. Climate change is real. It is inevitable, so we must face it,” he said.