Mr Eugene Nyelong, Coordinator, North-Central Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has stressed the need for participatory approach to disaster management and mitigation in the country.
He stated this on Monday in Jos during the disaster management and mitigation for key stakeholders in Gangare and Rikkos communities of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau.
“The occurrence of disasters appears to be on the rise, worldwide, despite several technological advancements they still cause major damages and obstruction to our communities.
“In order to minimise these damages and safe lives, disaster management plans must adopt a participatory strategy with an increasing focus on the grassroots level.
“Small initiative such as creating awareness and educating vulnerable communities on simple and easy disaster management techniques will mitigate the conditions that worsen disasters and help reduce losses
“So, we are here to sensitise the stakeholders and promote participatory approach in order to increase the scope of disaster management, using local knowledge because disaster happens mostly in the communities,” he said.
Nyelong described the exercise as timely, owing to the increasing loss of lives and property due to disaster
According to him, the training aimed at instilling basic knowledge of disaster management on communities with a view to reducing the impact when it occurs.
He decried that the lack of basic knowledge on managing and mitigating disasters had often led to huge damages in communities.
Nyelong noted that disaster management had assumed sophisticated dimension, hence the need for a top-bottom approach by focusing more on the basic areas that would prevent, manage and mitigate disaster.
“There is a paradigm shift in disaster management and grassroots response and volunteerism is very important in most disasters.
“This is why this training is key, because understanding how to respond to disaster by inhabitants of communities when it occurs is key.”
The coordinator advised the participants to utilise the knowledge gained from the meeting to educate other members of their communities on disaster management and mitigation.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training has the theme “Promoting Community Resilience in Disaster.” (NAN)
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