By: Prudence Okonna
The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has enjoined residents of the nation’s capital to shun environmental hazards capable of procreating potential disasters.
This was the crux of the conversation during a sensitization campaign in commemoration of International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction 2023, at Gwagwalada Area Council Secretariat, Thursday, Abuja.
Director of Forecasting, Response and Mitigation, FEMA, Florence Wenegieme, said that hazards are avoidable and can be prevented hence; residents should shun activities capable of causing hazards that could lead to disasters.
She explained that building under high-tension wires or waterways, driving during flash floods, and careless disposal of lighted cigarettes are potential disasters, if not avoided.
The director emphasized the need for everyone to take responsibility for every activity performed in their immediate environment, as every action either makes or mars the environment.
Wenegieme revealed that, as part of the Agency’s efforts to reduce unavoidable disasters, it follows strictly the predictions of NiMET and Nigeria Hydrological Agency, and thereafter provides early warnings to people whose environment is prone to disasters caused by climate conditions.
Wenegieme while highlighting the theme for 2023 “Fighting inequality for a resilient future” harped on the need for the inclusion of people who cannot help themselves when they are involved in disasters of any kind.
The Director added that vulnerable people have lost their lives in the past due to a lack of attention paid to rescuing them; noting that this must change going forward.
Also speaking at the ocasion, the Chief of staff to the Chairman Gwagwalada Area Council, Muhammed Kasimu, revealed that the Council is willing to contribute its quota by reducing disasters among various communities within the Council.
Kasimu said the Council would move on with the same tempo of the campaign by swinging into action to sensitize its people and utilizing the Local Emergency Committee (LEC) adequately before reaching out to FEMA in the case of any disaster within the Council.
The sensitization campaign tour around the Area Councils is part of the weeklong activities organized by FEMA ahead of the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction 2023 marked on the 13th October annually.