Why we can’t respond to emergency in 20 minutes – NEMA
The head, Gombe Operational Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Simon Katu has said that it is difficult for the Agency to make it to the scenes of disaster in 20 minutes, attributing this to skewed coverage.
Speaking at a one-day stakeholders meeting organised for journalists in Bauchi on Thursday, Simon said that disaster management starts from immediate community members and may be referred to the emergency agency.
While delivering a paper on disaster management, preparedness and reporting, he said “in America, the response time is 5 minutes while Nigeria is targeting 20 minutes but it is not possible. Doing this, it means we are in every local government area. We don’t have the strength, we can’t be at the disaster scene in that time.
“In Gombe Operational Office, we cover two states (Bauchi and Gombe) with 31 local governments. We have very few staff. All thanks to SEMA in these states, they are in all the LGAs,” Katu said.
The NEMA stakeholders meeting is in partnership with the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Bauchi State Council to improve disaster management and effective communication.
“Communication is very important and if that is the case, journalists are at the centre of this. There are under communication and over communication,” Katu said.
“We need to let the public know that disaster is not the first thing that happens– we have the risk, hazard and vulnerability which if overwhelm the individual or collective resources result to disaster.”
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