NEMA launches N1.8b tools from Japanese govt
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday launched disaster risk reduction equipment for search and rescue operations across the country.
The agency, which described 2020 as a year of disasters, said it responded to 148 incidents based on the assessment carried out, adding that over 2 million Nigerians were affected by banditry, flooding, building collapse, and other disasters last year.
The agency said the equipment donated by the Japanese Government would enable it to mitigate the impact of the disaster in Nigeria.
The equipment is worth N1.8 million (500 million Japanese Yen.)
NEMA’s Director-General AVM Muhammadu Muhammed said: “NEMA is inducting comprehensive disaster risk reduction equipment for search and rescue across the federation. Some of the equipment were donated by the Japanese Government. They include nine units of rescue vehicles with rescue equipment, four units of mobile water purifier systems with vehicles.”
He said NEMA workers had been trained on the usage of the specialized vehicles by experts from Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan, adding that the agency added value to the specialized equipment by attaching a unit of floodlights for illumination during night operations.
“This is to ensure a one-stop-shop for search and rescue operation in assisting the primary response stakeholders,” he said.
On how the equipment would be deployed, Muhammed said: “One response vehicle and alternative lighting each to NEMA zonal office in the Northwest (Kaduna), Northeast (Maiduguri), Northcentral (Jos), Southwest (Ibadan), Southsouth (Port Harcourt) and Southeast (Enugu).
“Also, each would be stationed at NEMA Territorial Office in Lagos, Kano, and at Abuja operations office.
“The mobile water purifier vehicles would be stationed in Abuja for deployment to any part of the country whenever the need arises to assist people in distress with clean drinking water.”
Commenting on the agency’s performance in 2020, he said: “The Year 2020 was very significant as the world was ravaged with the novel COVID-19 pandemic. This led to a complete lockdown of activities throughout the globe.
“Nigeria was not exempted from the negative impact of this pandemic. Amidst this global crisis, the nation was not spared from other devastating incidents, ranging from flooding, fire, insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, road accidents, pipeline/gas explosions, herders/farmers clashes, communal clashes, cattle rustling, building collapse, etc.
“In all of these, the nation also experienced the EndSARS protest, which led to human-induced crises (destruction of public and private properties, conflict, and looting). All of these resulted in the displacement of persons across the country
“The agency constituted and activated the Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) with stakeholders like the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), security operatives, Local Government Areas for data gathering and analysis that enhanced relief response to the devastating flood of 2020.
“Our advocacy and engagement with stakeholders in 2020 led to a reduction in the negative impacts of the flood on the people. A total of 2,353,647 people were affected by 2020 flood disaster.
“The agency delivered humanitarian supports for 148 incidents where assessments were carried out, approved, and distributed relief materials to the affected persons. These are in addition to the monthly distribution of relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons living in camps in Borno and Adamawa states.”
Also, the representative of the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, Mr. Shinozawa Takayuki, said the donation was part of its pledge of $4 billion financial cooperation and training of 40,000 government officials and local leaders in four years.
He said: “Japan hosted the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai City of Miyagi Prefecture in Japan in March 2015. At that conference, the international community reaffirmed their resolve to enhance the effort to strengthen disaster risk reduction in order to minimize loss of lives and assets, due to disasters, worldwide.
“On that occasion, the Government of Japan pledged $4 billion financial cooperation and training of 40,000 government officials and local leaders in four years. Hence, this project we are inaugurating today, which is worth a total of JPY500 million, is meant to support Nigeria’s efforts to equip NEMA and other emergency operation centers with disaster reduction-related products of Japanese enterprises, which is part of the fulfillment of that pledge for Nigeria.
“There is one obvious fact, which is that Japan and Nigeria have many things in common, one of which is the occurrences of natural disaster. Readily coming to mind are the past earthquakes that devastated parts of the Kansai region and the tsunami in the Tohoku region, all in Japan. While Nigeria has to constantly deal with natural disasters, such as flooding and erosion.”