25 November 2012

Nigeria: NEMA Inaugurates Committee to Check Fire Disasters

The National Emergency Management Agency said on Sunday that it has inaugurated a committee to map out vulnerable areas with a view to checking bush and market fire disasters in the country.

The Director General of the agency, Mr Mohammed Sani-Sidi, made the disclosure in a statement issued by Mr Yashau Shuaib, the agency's Head of Public Relations, and available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

It quoted the NEMA boss as speaking while receiving a team from the United Kingdom Cabinet Office Briefing Room led by Mr Nick Gibbons as well as the newly appointed Commander of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Abuja Camp, Group Capt. Joseph Malgwi.

Sani-Sidi solicited stakeholders' cooperation and support of international agencies in building the culture of disaster resilience among the people.

"We have mobilised our stakeholders and volunteers to be prepared in the likelihood of massive fire incidents in Markets, Farmlands and forests in the harmattan and dry season due to indiscriminate storage of inflammable and bush burning.

"We are closely monitoring the traffic in collaboration with our stakeholders during mass-rush of commuters in Ember months so as to minimise risks of road accidents that could involve fuel tankers."

Sani-Sidi said that mobile ambulances had been strategically stationed in fire-prone areas, noting that sensitisation campaigns were essential to reduce the vulnerabilities.

He maintained that the experience from the unprecedented flood was a challenge that required synergy among the stakeholders, saying the country had capabilities to address different kinds of disasters if given the necessary cooperation and support.

He said the agency had developed a National Contingency Plan to guide timely response to any sudden emergency in the country.

The statement also quoted Gibbons as saying that his team visited the Agency to explore areas of cooperation to assist the country.

On his own, Group. Capt. Malgwi said the visit was to strengthen existing working relationship between NEMA and the NAF unit. (NAN)

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