NEMA, NiMet, NIHSA Partner To Downscale Early Warning Alerts To Communities

By Miriam Humbe

Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Habib Ahmed has said his Agency had developed a partnership with Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and Nigerian Hydrological Service (NIHSA) to downscale early warning alerts to communities in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

A statement signed by NEMA’s Head, Press Unit, Manzo Ezekiel said the Director General said this at the Mid-term review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030 held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York at the weekend.

The Director General said the partnership was developed among the sister agencies following the recent public presentation of 2023 Climate-Related Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies on flood predictions.

Ahmed said with the hindsight of the 2022 flood disaster experience, the Federal Government of Nigeria had also set up a Presidential committee for the development of a comprehensive plan of action for preventing flood disasters in Nigeria.

The Director General said the inclusive approach adopted was in tandem with the intent of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres who in 2022 declared the UN Initiative to spearhead new actions to ensure that every person on earth was protected using early warning systems within five years of the declaration.

He said in line with target G of the SFDRR on delivering early warning to all Nigerians, “NEMA in collaboration with the Nigerian National Space Development Agency (NASDA) is working assiduously to increase the availability of, and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information in an inclusive manner through both conventional and non-conventional communications channels including the social media.”

He told the global gathering how Nigeria had made appreciable efforts to actualize the Four Priorities and Seven Targets of the SFDRR.

Ahmed said the targets including that “NEMA is currently organizing National and Sub-National Platforms across Nigerian states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and this constitutes an important integral part of achieving progress in the country’s drive towards sub national level implementation of the UNDRR protocols.”

He also said NEMA in partnership with UNDP under the Sahel Resilience Project has held series of workshops on the establishment of National Disaster Database and Risk-informed development in Nigeria with the main objective of addressing current and future risks and to promote disaster and climate risk informed decisions, investment and development planning in Nigeria.

NEMA’s DG also said that the Agency has appointed a consultant for the development of National DRR Strategy and Action Plan 2023-2030 that would be carried out in collaboration with African Union Commission (AUC), UNDP and ECOWAS under the Sahel Resilience Project.

To address the increasing dynamic disaster landscape, he requested the UNDRR to support Nigeria with technical assistance for capacity building and training on early warning forecasting, hazard risk analysis and dissemination to the public, Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Sendai Framework monitor and reporting as well as development of resilience strategies regarding communication and transmission of early warning systems at sub-national levels.

In addition to the presentation at the plenary, the Director General held a bilateral meeting with the UNDRR Director Ms Paola Albrito during which he informed her of Agency’s partnership with several agencies including Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre.

The University facilitated NEMA’s capacity building programme for the 37 Heads of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) in Nigeria as well as Heads of the 16 NEMA Zonal, Operational and Territorial Offices across the country.

The Director General of NEMA also held a bilateral meeting with Major General Elack Olivier Andriakaja, the Director General of the National Office of Risk and Disaster Management of the Republic of Madagascar, during which they discussed issues of common benefits to disaster management in Nigeria and Madagascar.

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