Atiku Advocates Effective Emergency Response

24 Jun 2011

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar

Ripples of the flood disasters in some parts of the country have continued as  former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called for prudent  management of Ecological Funds to stem the impact of natural disasters.

Atiku who was reacting to reports of flood disasters in Kano, Lagos, Ogun and other states, suggested that state governments should put to better use the Ecological Funds made available to them.

The former vice president recalled an observation he made while in office that the Ecological Funds were usually not applied to the purposes intended.

He noted that so much disaster had already been experienced at the period of the on-set of the raining season.

According to him, the observation made by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that “most states appear ill-prepared to be proactive in dealing with natural disasters” was very apt, considering that emergency management bodies in most states are not well provided for.

He explained that with drainage system not working and priorities put into wrong order, flood waters would attack with vengeance and render people homeless or displaced.

“With flood waters finding no means of escape through effective drainage system, the people would be put at risk of such natural disasters,” he said.

Atiku said although natural disaster is inevitable, good policies, proactive measures, and efficient use of resources can significantly reduce the impact of floods.

He observed that even at this stage, a number of measures can still be put in place to forestall the doomsday forecasts of weather experts.

The former Vice President also called for improving the quality of dams being constructed in the country, noting that long-term safety considerations should always guide policy formulation.

“Cutting corners over issues dealing with public safety should be discarded in the face of challenges facing the country,” he said.

He commended NEMA for the efforts it is making but advised that even the agency needs to be helped in terms of manpower and facilities.

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