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FEMA strengthens collaboration with stakeholders toward disaster reduction in FCT

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The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Friday said it would strengthened collaboration with stakeholders toward reducing incidences of flood and other disaster in the territory.

The Director-General of the agency, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, gave the assurance in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day intensive meetings with inter-agency departments, secretariat and organisations forum on 2021 flood outlook and review of FCT Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP), held in Abuja.

Idriss said the forum was of great importance to the FCT because it prepared the agency for a proactive step aimed at strategising in terms of prevention, mitigation and response to flood predictions as issued by the Nigeria Hydro-logical Service Agency (NIHSA).

The D-G said that the forum would provide opportunity to update and strategise the emergency preparedness and response plan which clearly spelt out specific roles by all actors in various emergency situations in the FCT.

He said that the meeting, which was attended by the general assembly of FEMA stakeholders, which cut across agencies, military, paramilitary, community leaders and non-profit organisations, received submissions and recommendations in line with the mission of the forum.

He said that all the submission received were harmoniously put together to formulate a working plan for the FCT.

“Among other issues, the forum discussed vigorously and resolved that stakeholders are to adopt new approaches and attitude in flood prevention, mitigation and response in to effectively tackle the recurring flooding in the FCT.

“It also agreed that there is the need to correct the infrastructural deficits and anomalies, including construction of wider drainages with the capacity to convey high level of water, strict enforcement of city planning laws with regards to construction on flood plains and drainage lines.

“Stakeholders pointed out the need to carry out a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before allocating land for various purposes and the need to discourage inappropriate land use in or near flood plains and also ensure that the flood plains are kept clean through a new policy.”

Idriss said similarly the forum agreed that disaster management training and retraining should be carried out among all emergency stakeholders in the FCT.

The D-G said that stakeholders urged the Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to seriously check the activities of scavengers and wheel barrow waste collectors popularly known as “Baban bola,” who are fond of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in rivers and drainages.

“Stakeholders also agreed to give serious attention to post emergency management, especially in internally displaced persons camps and settlements where issues of drug abuse are becoming a source of concern.

“They also agreed on collaborations to be strengthened between FEMA, Area Councils Service Secretariat, Chairmen and Traditional rulers to create greater prevention awareness, especially in remote communities,” he said.

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