Disaster Management: Prevention best for Communities says Kaduna Ag. Governor

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Kaduna State Acting Governor, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, has said that preventing disaster from happening is the best assistance that communities need.

The Ag. Governor, noted that because of climate change, weather patterns, new physical developments and other variables, flood risk chances change overtime and that the measures to keep
people safe also need to change.

Dr. Hadiza, stated this in her keynote address on Monday in Zaria at the ongoing review of 2022 Risk Map Workshop by the State Emergency Management Agency (KADSEMA), supported by UNICEF.

Represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, James Kanyip the Ag Governor said, as a government, Kaduna shall continue to provide the support that the SEMA needs to succeed, adding “It is along this line that we recently inaugurated the
Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) at the Local
Government levels to assist in the monitoring and coordination of disaster
management in their areas.

“We have also provided funding for the activities of SEMA including
assisting victims of banditry, communal clashes and flood victims. However,
material and financial supports to victims are not the last resort because
many do not survive these disasters to receive any form of assistance.

“Therefore, ensuring that these disasters are prevented and nipped in the
bud is still the best assistance that the risk-communities can get from SEMA
and other stakeholders.”

She said “Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) is a life-saving
measure that its importance cannot be over-emphasized. It provides
government, its agencies and communities with information on floods and mitigation plans so that citizens and people can be protected. A Risk MAP
strengthens local ability to make informed decisions about reducing risk on floods.

“Best practices for disaster management require regular review of
risk factors to be always ready as against merely responding when these
disasters occur which is part of recommendations of the National Disaster Management Framework (NDMF). These steps being taken today will put SEMA and other stakeholders in disaster management in the State on top of flood disasters and other hazards.

“Other hazards like windstorms, fire disasters, droughts, communal
clashes and banditry confront us on a regular basis. Without adequate plans
to ameliorate and possibly cope with these problems, they will simply
overwhelm us.

“For instance, the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SPC) by the Nigerian
Meteorological Agency (NiMeT) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), alerted the Kaduna State Government of the possibility of
flood in 5 local government areas of Kaduna State, namely Kaduna North,
Kaduna South, Igabi, Soba and Kaura. The Ministry of Environment and
Natural Resources has also advised residents living by riverbanks to be on
the alert.

“I urge the disaster management professionals attending this workshop
need to pool their expertise and assist the State Government and its
residents in the implementation of the reviewed 2022 Risk Analysis Map
and Multi-hazard Contingency Plan, and come up with other implementable

She thank donor agencies especially, UNICEF for supporting the workshop and the activities of the SEMA, adding “i believe that activities like this workshop that produce blueprints that will aid our communities, avoid being victims of disasters, are what disaster management agencies and stakeholders should focus on.”

Earlier, Theresa Pamma, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Specialist UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, who represented the Officer in Charge (OiC), Idris Baba, said UNICEF is a key stakeholder in Kaduna and have been supportive to the state government.

“We are happy that the state government have provided the environment for us to support what they are doing. So we will be supporting the government in the implementation of this contingency plans; looking at issues in health, nutrition, WASH, children protection and education because those emergencies usually face issues that cuts across these sectors, so we will be look at what each sector will be supporting Kaduna State government in doing.

“I think this workshop is very critical and I honestly want to commend the SEMA for taking this step, because addressing any emergency situation required that there should be a contingency plan in place, without that coordination and implementation may not be appropriately done.

This workshop is very important and am happy that it’s not just one sector that is here, we have multi-sectors because those affected by emergencies are faced with different challenges that requires the attention of various sectors, so it’s a very important step SEMA has taken.’ She stated.

She called on the participants to take the workshop very serious and look at those issues that comes up when emergencies surfaces, noting that emergency situations mostly affect women, the vulnerables and children and that all that those affected by emergencies want to see are services.

“For SEMA to call us here so that we can all have one plan, one approach one coordination to address those emergencies, it means we can at least reduce some of the problems that people face during emergencies.” The WASH Specialist added.


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