Stakeholders chart ways in reducing threats facing communities at frontline of disasters

Concerned by the effects of disasters among individuals, agencies and communities in particular, communities at frontline of disasters, stakeholders in disaster management including Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), government agencies and security agencies have vowed not to rest in their oars in reducing the attending effects of disasters in the country.

This submission agreed upon last week was in Ibadan, Oyo State at one-day National Consultative Workshop on Frontline Project in Nigeria and Linking Frontline to Post-2015 Development Frameworks organised by the Global Network of Civil Society for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), and Centre for Disaster Risk and Crisis Reduction (CDRCR).

The programme which was attended by representatives of NGOs, government agencies including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Oyo State Emergency Management Agency, police, NSCDC, FRSC and some media practitioners.

Speaking to journalists, the Executive Director, Centre for Disaster Risk and Crisis Reduction (CDRCR), Mr Kolawole Amusat said the aim of the maiden stakeholders’ meeting championed by GNDR, an umbrella body of over 60 civil society organisations working on disaster risk management in the country was “to work, discuss and consult on how disaster threats facing the communities at the frontline of disasters can be reduced to the barest minimum.”

He added that “This programme was designed to capture the threats faced by communities at the frontline of disasters as well as current actions taken by various communities to reduce their vulnerability to the threats.”

Amusat further informed that the study carried out in 24 communities in six states – Plateau, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Cross River and Kwara, showed that most rural communities in these states lack disaster management knowledge.

According to him, “The result of our findings show that in the last ten years, there have been increasing damaging and lost of property as a result of disasters.

“The study shows that most of the communities at the risk are rural communities, and which lack knowledge of disaster management with necessary education that will help them tackle the menace and cope with disaster when it occurred.

“We are organising this programme to know how best we can help communities at the frontline of disasters, to prevent disasters and reduce the risks. We have been working with NEMA, SEMA and other stakeholders to prevent the risks.”

Suggesting the way out, Amusat called for strong partnership among stakeholders at all levels to the benefit of the communities at risk. He used the medium to call for all stakeholders including the media to sensitise the public on the risks involved in disasters.

Amusat said his organisation would use the goodwill at national and international levels to use the resources and help communities at the frontline of risks and disasters through manpower and financial aids.