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Following the recent public presentation of 2023 Climate-Related Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies on flood predictions, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has developed a programme of partnership with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and Nigerian Hydrological Service (NIHSA) to downscale the early warning alerts to communities in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The NEMA Director General, Mr. Mustapha Habib Ahmed disclosed this during a presentation on the Mid-term review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030 held at the United Nations Headquarters, New York.
With the hindsight of the 2022 flood disaster experience, he said the Federal Government of Nigeria has also set up a Presidential Committee for the development of a comprehensive Plan of Action for Preventing Flood Disaster in Nigeria.
The NEMA DG said the inclusive approach adopted was in tandem with the intent of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres who in 2022 declared the UN Initiative to spearhead new actions to ensure that every person on earth is protected using early warning systems within five years of the declaration.
Furthermore, he said in line with target G of the SFDRR on delivering an early warning to all Nigerians, “NEMA in collaboration with the Nigerian National Space Development Agency (NASDA) is working assiduously to increase the availability of, and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information in an inclusive manner through both conventional and non-conventional communications channels including the social media.”
He told the global gathering how Nigeria has made appreciable efforts to actualize the Four Priorities and Seven Targets of the SFDRR, including that “the National Emergency Management Agency is currently organizing National and Sub-National Platforms across Nigerian states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and this constitutes an importance integral part of achieving progress in the country’s drive towards sub national level implementation of the UNDRR protocols.”
Additionally, he disclosed that the Agency in partnership with UNDP under the Sahel Resilience Project has held series of workshops on the establishment of National Disaster Database and Risk-informed development in Nigeria with the main objective of addressing current and future risk and to promote disaster and climate risk informed decisions, investment and development planning in Nigeria.
Mr. Ahmed also disclosed that the Agency has appointed a consultant for the development of National DRR Strategy and Action Plan 2023-2030 that will be carried out in collaboration with African Union Commission (AUC), UNDP and ECOWAS under the Sahel Resilience Project.
To address the increasing dynamic disaster landscape, he requested the UNDRR to support Nigeria with technical assistance for capacity building and training on early warning forecasting, hazard risk analysis and dissemination to the public, Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Sendai Framework monitor and reporting as well as development of resilience strategies regarding communication and transmission of early warning systems at sub-national levels.
In a related development, Mr. Ahmed held a bilateral meeting with the UNDRR Director, Ms Paola Albrito during which he informed her of Agency’s partnership with several agencies including Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre that facilitated NEMA’s capacity building programme for the 37 Heads of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) in Nigeria as well as Heads of the 16 NEMA Zonal, Operational and Territorial Offices across the country.
The Director General NEMA also held a bilateral meeting with Major General Elack Olivier Andriakaja, the Director General of the National Office of Risk and Disaster Management of the Republic of Madagascar, during which they discussed issues of common benefits to disaster management in Nigeria and Madagascar.