Why Kogi can’t manage flood disasters – Stakeholders
Stakeholders in emergency and disaster management say Kogi lacks the human power, skills, finance and equipment to effectively and adequately manage flood disasters which have become a perennial problem in the state.
The stakeholders made the observation in a communique issued in Lokoja on Sunday.
The communique, which was issued at the end of the two – day 2019 second quarterly meeting held in Lokoja, said that the development was responsible for the huge loss recorded in the state during the 2012 flood disaster and the subsequent ones.
The meeting was facilitated by the Abuja Operation Office of the National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA).
The communique was signed by Mrs Dorcas Enehe of the state Ministry of Environment, Mr Paul Enemali and Mrs Bukola Ikuseru of State Emergency Management Agency(SEMA) and Mr Stephen Alabi of the Fire Service Department.
They appealed to the government to intervene by providing SEMA with needed equipment, skilled workers, accommodation and funds to effectively carry out its mandate.
” Kogi State Government should ensure that SEMA is properly established with functional technical department in order to operate effectively,” the communique said.
It urged SEMA to continue to harness available skills among relevant stakeholders for disaster control and management in the state pending the intervention of government.
Earlier, while declaring the meeting open, the Director – General of NEMA, Mr Mustapha Maihaja, said that the forum was organised to ascertain the state’s flood emergency preparedness and response strategy.
He said that with the advent of heavy rains, there was need for all hands to be on deck to prepare for emergencies and put strategies in place to control and manage them.
Maihaja, who was represented by Mr Bitrus Samuel, Head, Abuja Operation Office, said that the state was prone to flood because if its location , adding that it was the worst hit by the 2018 flood disasters.
” We may not be able to prevent natural emergencies , but adequate control can be put in place prior to their occurrence to reduce the magnitude of human and material loss , including disruption to public utility , service and economy,” he told the stakeholders.
Present at the meeting were stakeholders from the Red Cross, Fire Service, Ministry of Environment, waste management authority, Ministry of Health, NSCDC, army, NIMET, NEMA, civil society and religious organisations.
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