Nigeria firms up position for post-2015 disaster risk reduction talks
AHEAD of the world conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan next month, the Federal government has kick-started efforts to scale-up of disaster risk reduction.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is anchoring the moves supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and a two-day National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Nigeria: Preparing for United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan was staged last week in Abuja.
Under the proposed framework, Nigeria is expected to establish baselines and periodically assess disaster risks, including vulnerability, exposure and hazard characteristics, at the relevant spatial scale, such as within a river basin and along coastlines.
Similarly, NEMA is also charged with building the capacity of local government officials, public servants, communities and volunteers through sharing of experience, training and learning programmes on disaster risk reduction, targeting specific sectors to ensure consistent collection, analysis and use of risk assessment, and implementation of disaster-risk related policies and plans.
The proposed document is aimed at incorporating disaster risk education, including preparedness, in educational curricula at all levels and in informal education systems, as well as in professional education
Throwing more light on the workshop, UNDP Country Director, Pa Lamin Beyai, said that the consultations present a good opportunity to build national consensus, highlight new issues and agree on Nigeria’s contribution to the new global framework to be adopted in Sendai.
He said that UNDP has been partnering with the NEMA on strengthening coordination of DRR efforts in Nigeria and considers the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NIPDRR) a platform for multistakeholder engagement.
During the opening of the programme, NEMA urged Nigerians to prepare for the challenging effects of climate change in their daily lives.
NEMA Director General, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi said the proposed conference was targeted at discussing the vulnerability of the people and building resilience to effects of climate change.
The NEMA boss, represented by Director Disaster Risk Reduction, Alhaji Alhasan Nuh, said, “For the past ten years, emphasis on disaster management has evolved from a disaster to risk reduction. From waiting to respond to the impact of disasters to reducing the vulnerability of the people and applying mitigation measures before a disaster occurs.
“For those that still doubt that climate change is a reality, scientists have more evidence that the world really is getting hotter. After tallying worldwide data, researchers at National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), found that 2014 was the hottest year since temperature data has been recorded.”
His words: “Temperatures have been consistently recorded since 1880, providing well over a century of data. On average, 2014 turned out to beat the average temperature of any other year since 1880 with 0.69 degrees Celsius (about 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit), higher than the average for the 20th century.
“According to the report, the 2014 temperatures were part of a larger trend, because nine of the ten highest temperatures have been recorded since the year 2000. We therefore need to brace up and scale up on our preparedness as a nation in reducing the vulnerability and the underlying risk factors in our communities.”
According to him, NEMA like its counterpart in world over has adopted the compelling shift in disaster management in the last five years.
“We are collaborating with six Nigerian universities for capacity development in disaster risk management, mainstreaming DRR/Climate Change Adaptation into basic and post basic education curricula.”