Disaster Management: FEMA Inaugurates Local Emergency Committee

By: Prudence Okonna

Determined to ensure that the cases of Emergency are attended to in record time to protect lives and property, the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has inaugurated the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) in Kwali Area Council.

The Committee is saddled with the responsibility of managing disasters and responding to emergencies at the Area Council level before reaching out to the State Emergency Management Agency.

The Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) was inaugurated during the Agency’s dry season sensitization visit to the Council Secretariat, Monday.

Speaking during the inauguration, the Chairman, Kwali Area Council, Danladi Chiya, said the priority of the Committee should be to protect lives and property in record time; adding that service to humanity is paramount.

While appreciating FEMA for its continued effort in preventing impending disasters in FCT, the Chairman re-assured FEMA of the competent persons involved in the Committee; noting that they are capable hands, who can be relied on to handle issues while responding to disasters.

Chiya, explained that the LEMC is vital because they will help to attend to emergencies within and around the Area Council; assuring FEMA of the Council’s support towards the Committee’s success in Kwali, as it is their responsibility to ensure that they succeed.

His words: “This Committee will be of help to me as regards responding to disasters, security, health epidemics, fire outbreak, building collapse among other emergencies, we are duty bound to motivate and support them”.

He, therefore, charged the Committee to give their all to the task by prioritizing the people as the onus is on them to deliver optimally.

In her remarks, the Director of Forecasting, Response, and Mitigation, FEMA, Florence Wenegieme, said the Agency prioritises the prevention of disasters hence, its emphasis on having Local Emergency Committees across the six Area Councils in the FCT.

She explained that in cases where disaster cannot be averted, the LEC could come up with mitigative measures that will reduce the impact of the disaster on community members.

Wenegieme added that the Dry Season sensitization was important to averting disasters, especially Fire outbreaks, which take the front burner, because of behaviours of community members, like bush burning, building under high tension wire, using unqualified electricians or low-quality wiring materials as well as selling petroleum products in undesignated locations.

The Director explained that it was important for the Council members to take the message of disaster prevention back to members of their communities using town criers.

Also speaking at the event, the Vice Chairman Kwali Area Council, who doubles as the Chairman of the LEMC, Mohammed Yakubu, assured FEMA and the Council that the Committee will deliver on the mandate assigned to them.

His words: “We will do everything possible not let down the residents of the Area Council”.

Abuja Digest reports that other members of the Local Emergency Management Committee include the Council Secretary, who is also the Secretary of the Committee, the head of the Public Health, and Environment, the National Orientation Agency, the Fire Service, the Nigeria police, Youth Leader among others.