UNICEF, UN, Train Stakeholders in Disaster Management Ahead of Flooding

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Daji Sani in Yola

The UNICEF in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) have embarked on the training of Disaster Management workers in Adamawa, Gombe, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi and Jigawa states, which are prone to flooding and the Boko Haram insurgency.

The Emergency Specialist of UNICEF, Mr. Olusoji Adeniyi, disclosed this at a three-day training workshop convened in Yola, Adamawa State capital, and noted that the training was in response to the prediction of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), that there will be heavy downpour this year.

Adeniyi further explained that the training workshop was to aid the Disaster Management Workers in those states prone to flooding plan ahead of any eventuality of flood.

He said this was what informed UNICEF to train disaster workers and stakeholders involved in disaster management to have prerequisite knowledge on ‘Contingency Planning’ in disaster management that is of international standard.
Adeniyi, who is one of the facilitators at the workshop, said his organisation selected stakeholders in disaster management from different departments of disaster management so as to encourage team work so that every department will be involved in the early stage of planning to the end.

He said the reason for planning is to aid disaster workers’ response quickly and promptly to emergency cases when they happen, adding that responding quickly will create impact and many lives will be safe.
Adeniyi identified inadequate funding as one of the major problems affecting the effectiveness of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA).

He also identified lack of legal backing for some of the SEMA at the state levels as well as lack of political will by some political leaders to fund emergency interventions as other challenges.
He further observed that some states relief agencies only focus on provision of relief materials, which only represented just one element of their responsibility as managers of emergency.

While declaring open the three-day training workshop, the Executive Secretary of the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), Mr. Haruna Furo, said the state Government has embarked on the construction of roads and drains in major towns of the state to curtail the incident of flooding.

The stakeholders were discussing on the Contingency Plans ahead of 2016 Flooding Season organised by UNICEF ‘D’ Field Office in charge of the North-east.

Furo said the government was also involved in awareness campaigns to encourage the public to imbibe the culture of proper waste disposal.

“Governor Muhammadu Jibrilla has embarked on massive construction of roads and drains across the state particularly around flood prone areas as well as engaged in various awareness campaigns on proper waste disposal. This will in no small measure help address some of the challenges associated with flooding,” he said.

Furo lauded the UNICEF zone ‘D’ office for organising the meeting which he described as timely. He also urged participants to make good use of the opportunity in coming up with modalities to have comprehensive plan to nip in the bud current emergencies bedeviling the North-east, of which flood is one.