Federal government has set up a seven years action plan on disaster risk reduction towards mitigating impacts of natural disasters and others in the Sahel.
Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), Mustapha Ahmed, said the action plan is a strategy that aims to ascertain the status of disaster risk evaluation within the implementation of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030, in the seven West African Sahel countries of Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal.
The DG made this this known at a Two-day Stakeholders Consultation workshop on the development of National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy, 2024-2030 and Action Plan, 2024-2027, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, (UNDP), Sahel Resilience project and the African Union, yesterday in Abuja.
He said “Findings in the assessment report, indicate that in furtherance to the plans and frameworks so far produced by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), it is necessary to develop comprehensive document for Disaster Risk Management for Nigeria.
“This plan is also very critical in enabling Nigeria to align with and drive the targets of the Sendai Framework and the African Program of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction.”
The DG adds that “The recent escalation and growing frequency and severity of disasters in form of banditry, boat mishaps, building collapse, urban and market fires coupled with hydro-meteorological hazards powered by climate change and climate variability have ignited the compelling desire to develop the Nigeria Disaster Risk Management Plan.
“The compelling demand has therefore led to the commencement of discussions and partnership between NEMA and the United Nations Development Program, (UNDP), on the actualization of the very important Plan.”
Speaking on the alarming rate of multidimensional poverty affecting the population, Project Manager, of the UNDP Sahel resilience project in Nigeria, Dr. Reshmi Theckethil, noted that almost half of Nigeria’s population, abou 91 million people, now face multidimensional poverty.
She said “Communities are being impacted by environmental and health hazards like droughts, floods, epidemics, and man-made disasters such as oil spills and terrorism. Challenges from rapid population growth, urbanization, and socio-political issues often contribute to conflicts, violence, and increased insecurity.
“Throughout the years, Nigeria has experienced 440 disasters, with several catastrophic floods, leading to tragic loss of lives and economic loss.
“These disasters not only damage property but disrupt crucial infrastructure, and increase the risk of diseases like cholera, diarrhea, and malaria. The financial aftermath of floods in 2012 and 2022 is staggering, amounting to billions of dollars, affecting some 12 million people.”
According to her, “It is clear that sound disaster risk management at all levels_ from national to local, is key to building the resilience of communities and economies to these shocks.
“Our shared objective with NEMA is clear: to develop a new disaster risk reduction strategy for Nigeria, one that is aligned with the African Union’s Programme of Action and regional efforts to strengthen disaster preparedness and response capabilities in west Africa and the Sahel region.
The vision is ambitious: to create a resilient, disaster-ready Nigeria.”