By Chimezie Godfrey
The Federal government has reiterated its commitment to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction of 2015-2021.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Farouq disclosed this at the COP26 side event and panel discussion on Nigeria’s Climate Change Adaptation Efforts in Humanitarian and Disaster Risk Reduction Contexts held in Glasgow, Scotland on Monday.
In her presentation which focused on Nigeria’s efforts in addressing the humanitarian consequences of Climate Change, Umar Farouq highlighted the current situation in Nigeria to bring to the fore, the vulnerability of Nigerians as well as efforts being made to promote climate change adaptation and build resilience in the communities.
“To respond to flooding, we are now using an integrated flood management approach, where we understand vulnerabilities and leverage and manage flood waters to channel it for dry season agriculture and electricity generation.
“In collaboration with all necessary stakeholders, the Ministry has developed a National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan. The purpose of the plan is to provide relevant information and outline response arrangements in place for a coordinated inter-ministerial multi-agency response to major flooding incidents. There is a lot of emphasis on risk reduction as well as prevention and mitigation strategies, and once it is operationalized, local communities will be more involved in flood management: from adhering to early warnings and forecasts for flood, to building better infrastructure.
“This climate crises must be addressed as it is snowballing into a humanitarian crises; not only for Nigeria but the entire world. Therefore, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, its Agencies and partners are mainstreaming climate change adaptation and conducting vulnerability assessment to reduce risks.
“We, as the majorstakeholders in this race, are compelled to offer risk reduction mechanisms, social protection systems and humanitarian interventions to protect vulnerable persons from the consequence of climate change”.
The Minister also noted that Nigeria is experiencing more hydro-meteorological events such as flooding, windstorm, drought, coastal and gully erosions amongst others which have led to huge economic losses and unavoidable deaths.
“Rainfall patterns have changed and we are seeing more communities in local governments becoming highly probable flood risk areas. Through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) we also carry out climate change adaptation projects that focus on state and communal levels. We are also promoting research and education through universities in Nigeria. Some impactful activities are the public sensitization activities as well as the reports gathered by NEMA using DesInventar information management system for monitoring and reporting climate related hazards.
“We recently completed a risk analysis and vulnerability assessment in Nigeria, in three prevalent categories of hazards: floods, endemics, and conflicts. These findings will help us plan and further develop climate change adaption programs in the vulnerable areas identified.
“To implement this, we are building partnerships and strengthening the capacities of disaster risk management agencies at local and State levels for implementation adaptation.
“I will like to use this opportunity to reiterate Nigeria’s commitment to the implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) and thank the UNFCCC and the Ministry of Environment for facilitating this platform at COP26,” Umar Farouq concluded.
At the side event also was Mr. Manuel Marques Pereira, Head of the Migration, Environment and Climate Change of the International Organization for Migration, Senator Hassan Muhammed Gusau, Chairman of the Ecological Committee, Mr Vincent Owan, Director Planning, Research and Forecasting, who represented the DG. NEMA Mustapha Habib Ahmed and the Director General NIHSA Engr. Clement Eze.