NEMA Calls for Collective Action to Reduce Mortality in Disaster Risk Communities

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Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammed Sani-Sidi, has harped on the need to ensure no Nigerian dies as a result of any form of disaster.

Sani-Sidi, noted that the combination of natural hazards and vulnerability pose a constant threat to both lives and livelihood as the world was witnessing a rapidly increasing impact of disasters with unacceptable impact in mortality indices.

He gave the hint at a recent event organised to mark the 2016 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction with the theme, “Live to Tell”, held in Abuja.

In his welcome address, the DG, stressed the need to focus on the seven targets of the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Nigeria and the world at large. “Every single day, Nigeria loses thousands of under-five year olds and hundreds of women of childbearing age. This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under-five and maternal mortality rain the world.”

According to him, this year’s theme will dwell on the first target seeking to create a wave of awareness about actions that need to be taken to reduce mortality around the world. “It is no denial that the threat from natural disasters is urgent and need immediate concerted attention.

“Although analysis of recent trends shows that the country is making progress in cutting down infant and under-five mortality rates, the pace still remains too slow. Preventable or treatable infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles and HIV/AIDS account for more than 70 per cent of the estimated one million under-five deaths in Nigeria. (UNICEF. Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011).”

It would be recalled that the national disaster profile over the years shows that Nigeria is bedeviled with varied and multiple hazards, some cutting across geopolitical boundaries, while others are peculiar to specific areas. The frequency and magnitude of disasters in the country have therefore become sources of concern.