It has been identified that lack of adequate and accurate information, miss-information, over information, under-information and unnecessary raising of alarm are the issues militating against effective disaster management and rescue operation in Nigeria.
The assertion was made by the Head of Operation, Gombe Operations Office (GOO) of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Simon P Katu during a one-day stakeholders capacity development and coordination forum meeting held at the NUJ Press Center, Bauchi.
Simon Katu lamented that the identified issues have, over the years, being militating against effective disaster management and rescue operation as it is supposed to be in line with the best world standard practices which are put in place to mitigate disaster.
He stressed that people will just raise alarm even when there was no reason to do so adding that some people will have information but will not divulge such or where such information is released, it is either exaggerated or distorted.
The NEMA Head of Operation further said that where information is either over or under, it gives rescue operation and disaster management very difficult for those responsible for doing so a development he said has led to a sudden loss of lives and property.
Simon Katu then said that it was in the effort to create awareness among the people that NEMA decided to organize the stakeholders meeting particularly Media men to get them abreast with global best practices in disaster management and rescue operation.
He then urged Media practitioners to join NEMA in the business of disaster management and rescue operation through accurate and up-to-date information on things that can lead to disaster even before it occurs.
In his goodwill message, Permanent Secretary of Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Shehu Habu Ningi stressed the importance of capacity building in disaster management and rescue operation saying that it is the main reason for the establishment of the emergency management agency by the government.
Represented by the Director, Disaster Management, Kabiru Kobi, the Permanent Secretary said that effective information management is the key role to effective disaster management and rescue operation.
He, therefore, urged Media practitioners to manage information effectively particularly during disaster situations so that the situation will not escalate beyond redemption.
Bauchi State Council Chairman of the NUJ, Umar Sa’id commended NEMA for agreeing to come to Bauchi to build up the capacity of Journalists to be able to partner the Agency in the business of disaster management and rescue operation in the state.
Umar Sa’id assured NEMA that with the synergy built now, Journalists in the state will enhance forth get accurate information about a situation before going to press in order to minimize the hazards of disaster occurrence.