Disaster Management: FEMA Takes Campaign To Grassroots

By: Prudence Okonna

To effectively improve disaster management at the grassroots level, the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has taken the campaign to rural communities to ensure prompt response in cases of emergency.

Accordingly, FEMA considers disaster management a clearer route to safety of lives and property.

The FEMA Acting Director- General, Mohammed Ibrahim Sabo, who led the campaign to the Abaji Area Council Secretariat, Monday, said the Local Emergency Committee at the Council level is integral to managing disasters.

The Director-General emphasized that the Local Emergency Committee (LEC) is the Emergency Management Agency expected to operate at the Area Council level to meet the needs of people in the communities.

Sabo said that the campaign is a continuation of FEMA’s dry season sensitization drive to Area Councils and Satellite Towns being a proactive step toward safety of lives and property across the Territory.

He noted that the LEC is the coordinating body for emergency management in the Area Council and should have the capacity to respond to disasters promptly.

Sabo reiterated the need for communities to strictly adhere to the warnings on fire disasters, which are predominant during the dry season.

Also speaking at the event, the Director of Forecasting, Response, and Mitigation, FEMA, Florence Wenegieme, revealed that some behaviours by individuals were capable of causing fire disasters, such as bush burning, and the sale of petroleum products in undesignated places.

Her words: “Also, scooping of petroleum products during truck accidents, storage of petroleum products in homes/cars, sale of petroleum products under high tension wires, and leaving on electrical appliances without monitoring.”

Wenegieme, who led the team round the Abaji Area Council for a street sensitization campaign called for communities to be their brother’s keepers in cases of emergency, especially through the inclusion of the aged and Persons with physical challenges.

She called on the communities to desist from blocking their drainages as this would lead to flooding during the rains, which would begin in two months.

Welcoming the FEMA team, Abaji Council Secretary, Hon Agaba Abaji Agumuguo, said the Council was excited at the visit and assured the FEMA boss that the LEC would be set up in no time for inauguration as it was paramount to safeguarding the lives and property of the Abaji people.

He noted that the Council with support from the Abaji Area Council Chairman, Abdullahi Umar Abubakar, would ensure all hands are on deck especially the heads of department for the Committee to begin work in earnest.

The Local Emergency Committee is expected to comprise the Area Council Chairman and Vice Chairman, the National Orientation Agency, Members of the different Security agencies, Fire Service personnel, and medical personnel as well as volunteers and vanguards, all from the Area Council.

Abuja Digest reports that the United Nations’ predictions state that by the year 2030, the World will experience not less than 560 different disasters which may push 1.7 million people into poverty but could be nipped in the bud if individuals take responsibility for their environment.