NEMA to check disaster

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TO ensure proper coordination and preparedness of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) during crises, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has released the 2012-2013 National Contingency Plan (NCP) for disaster management in the country.

The contingency plan would, among others, ensure that policy makers, practitioners and stakeholders do not duplicate roles while managing crises.

The Director General, NEMA, Mohammad Sani-Sidi, said at the official presentation of the NCP to stakeholders in disaster management yesterday in Abuja, that the NCP adopted a multi-hazard model with focus on hazards with the highest probability occurrence and severity in the country.

He explained that the multi-hazard scenario approach was adopted in order to accommodate predictable and non-predictable hazards, adding that in line with global best practices, the NCP adopted a three-phase sectoral response, namely: preparedness, minimum response and comprehensive response.

Sani-Sidi said: “The preparedness phase represents the activities to be put in place before the onset of the disaster while the minimum response contains activities taking place for the first three days after an incident has occurred. The comprehensive response is the on-going action for the following seven days after the minimum response phase.”

The internationally accepted sectoral pedestals are: water, sanitation and hygiene to be coordinated by the Ministry of Water Resources; health and sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDS to be coordinated by the Ministry of Health; and camp coordination and management to be coordinated by the Ministry of Women Affairs.

Other sectoral pedestals are: food and nutrition to be coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; emergency shelter and non-food items to be provided by NEMA; security and protection by security agencies; logistics, telecommunications and basic education would be coordinated by relevant organisations.

The NEMA boss maintained that each sector had clusters of organisations to implement the sectoral response, adding that relevant stakeholders could also use the NCP as justification for organisational preparedness using the roles that had been assigned to them in the plan.

Stressing the need for a contingency planning in the emergency preparedness matrix, he said preparedness could never be complete without conscious planning.

He said with the development of the NCP, the country is now better positioned to seek assistance and guidance from the internal humanitarian community to support and complement national action.

Stressing the need for close collaboration among all stakeholders, Sani-Sidi said: “The increasing complexities of emergencies confronting us at both communal and national levels call for sustained collaboration between stakeholders to strengthen humanitarian operators to cater for the most vulnerable group among us, including children and women.”

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