By: Prudence Okonna
Following the collapsed building at Garki Village on 23 August, 2023, and subsquent rescue operations by responders, an After -Action Review meeting has been held to x-ray the quality of response to the incident.
This was contained in a Press Statement by the Head, Public Affairs, FCT Emergency Management Agency,(FEMA), Nkechi Isa, in Abuja, Wednesday.
The statement noted that the Director-General of FEMA, Dr. Abbas Garba Idriss, while declaring the meeting open, said it was to generate actionable recommendations that can improve preparedness, response and recovery for future events.
Dr. Idriss stated that the meeting would also review activities of responders at the scene of the incident to identify gaps and areas of lapses to forestall a reoccurrence.
While commending the teams for their synergy and timely response, He appealed to all the responders to take coordination and synergy more seriously in order to achieve the desired goals.
His words: “Despite delay on the arrival of rescue equipment, the responders used their knowledge and professionalism to rescue 37 affected persons from the rubbles”.
The statement noted that the stakeholders identified some obstacles, such as the crowd, which did not allow them access to the scene.
The meeting also identified no availability of Muster Point as well as information on the number of occupants in the building.
Also identified was the mob action, which tried to vandalise some of the equipment used by the responders.
It was, therefore, resolved that the Nigeria Police Force and the NSCDC should intensify more efforts in condoning such incident scenes in order to provide security to the rescuers.
The DG said the meeting was not to apportion blame, urging the first responders at the scene of an incident to activate other responders quickly to be able to handle the situation effectively.
The meeting underscored the need for coordination and cooperation among emergency responders, the need to also establish an information point at incident scenes as well as provision of adequate equipment and trained manpower.
Dr. Idriss maintained that 37 victims were rescued from the Garki collapsed building and all of them are responding to treatment.
He added that the welfare team has been visiting the patients to offer psycho social support.
The DG appreciated the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, for approving the settlement of the medical bills of the affected persons.
In attendance of the meeting were the Department of Development Control, FCT Police Command, Federal Fire Service, FCT Fire Service, The Red Cross, and the National Emergency Management Agency.
Others were the Federal Road Safety Corps FCT Command and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.