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Humanitarian crises threats to achieving SDGs – NEMA D-G

By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Mr Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said that humanitarian crises and human displacement in the country were threats to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Ahmed said this at a one-day strategic workshop with Disaster Risk Management Stakeholders, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the country might not attain the SDGs due to natural and human induced hazards such as: floods, windstorm, drought, erosion, epidemic, conflict and banditry.
He added that the hazards which had been aggravated by climate change and extreme weather conditions, had constituted major drivers to recurring disasters in the country.
According to him, for the country to mitigate and prepare ahead of disasters, all stakeholders, states and local governments must be involved.
“If you look at the statistics this year, flood that has hit communities are the worst, we get more than 50 alerts and more than 100 communities are hit in just one day.
“So the situation is very bad and it keeps on going up but we pray that in the next few weeks, things will recede.
“Disaster management as they say is local, when it happens, it hits a community within a local government, within a state.
“So the first responders are always the local government and we have to stress the need for them to set up local emergency management committee.
“NEMA cannot be in every community in Nigeria, the local government must step in first, then the state and when their capacity is exceeded, then NEMA comes,” he said.
On his part, Dr Daniel Obot, Director, Disaster Risk Reduction, NEMA, said that the workshop was aimed at sharing ideas with stakeholders on how to reduce disaster risks in the country.
“Before now, people know disaster in terms of relief intervention but with this workshop, all the stakeholders will deliberate at the national level on how to reduce the risks of disasters.
“And it is expected that they all take back what they have learnt to their various institutions and realign their activities to key into disaster risk reduction because when the risks are reduced, the impacts will be less.
“The effects and consequences will be less, so this event is to stimulate preparedness, prevention and create awareness on mitigation measures that will reduce the effects of disasters in our communities and nation as a whole,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event had in attendance representatives from Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Red Cross, CBN, NNPC Limited, among others.