The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on state governments to create well-funded emergency management agencies and committees at the state and local government levels.
The Director-General of NEMA, AVM Muhammadu Muhammad (retd), made the call on Wednesday in Akure during the distribution of relief materials to victims of the Sept. 19 flood disaster in Akure.
Muhammad, represented by the agency’s Head of Operations in Ekiti, Mr Olusegun Afolayan, said that disaster management had become necessary in order to ensure the protection of lives and property of citizens.
He said that the agency had always been at the vanguard of calls for states to establish adequately-equipped and well-funded emergency management agencies and committees at both state and local government levels.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the relief materials distributed to the victims included roofing sheets, bags of cement, mattresses and food items.
Muhammad said that NEMA would ensure prompt emergency and effective disaster management in the state.
“I wish to appeal to the governor to fast track the establishment of a fully-functional and well-funded SEMA, backed by relevant legal provisions, for more proactive emergency management in the state.
“Early warning system, coordination, collaboration, political will and manpower are essential components of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
“It is, therefore, everybody’s business to ensure that we build a culture of community resilience for sustainable development in our society by regularly engaging in policies, strategies and programmes that will mitigate the effect of both natural and man-made disasters,” he said.
Also speaking, Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State urged residents to desist from dumping of refuse on waterways, adding that no amount of relief materials given to them could replace what might have been lost.
Akeredolu, represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr Jimmy Kuffour, expressed sympathy with the victims of the disaster.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Femi Obasun, thanked the federal and state governments for giving them the relief materials. (NAN)