In commemoration of the 2017 World Disaster Reduction Day, The Community Emergency Response Initiative, an NGO, has called on the Federal Government to seek new strategies to promote disaster management and reduce the number of victims of disasters.
Mr Benson Attah, Executive Director of the NGO, made the call in an interview in Abuja on Friday, according to Agency reports.
Attah, said its call became necessary for Nigeria to “reduce the number of affected people by disasters by 2030.”
He said such strategies would also remove the country from among the 204 countries of average of 13.9 million people displaced, yearly, by disasters.
Attah said Nigeria should embark on mitigation, build the capacity of institutions through research, putting early warning measures in place and also rehabilitate those previously affected by disasters.
He said there was also the need to carry out measures aimed at addressing the impact of climate change.
The effort, he further said, could be achieved by ensuring that thorough research and appropriate data base exist for proper planning while citizens should be well sensitised through proper awareness creation programmes.
“It is also important that we have implementable policy framework in place that will guide our urban planning institutions.
‘’This should be backed by appropriate and enforceable laws which must be managed by strong institutions, thereby ensuring that the rule of law applies in every situation.
“We want an instance where no one will be bigger than the law.
‘’This is because most of our flood challenges, such as the recent flood disaster in some states, were deliberately caused by some individuals who put up structures to obstruct the water ways,” he said.
The executive director also said the only way Nigeria could become resilient; following floods was for both the Federal and State governments to channel resources to disaster reduction.
According to him, focusing more attention on disaster reduction is more relevant and enhances development compared to disaster response.
He also stressed the need for government at all levels to mainstream disaster reduction into the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
“While making effort to really move forward, we should not forget that we also need to mainstream gender into disaster reduction as a matter of principle as to enhance the attainment of a resilient Nigeria.”
He said the effort would also promote the rights of women, whom he said were mostly affected during disaster.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction, held every Oct.13, celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters.
This year’s theme is ”Reducing the number of affected people by disasters by 2030.”