30 January 2013

Nigeria: NEMA - 113,837 Persons Displaced in Communal Clashes

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that about 113,837 persons were displaced in communal clashes in the South-south geo-political zone last year.

It also said Rivers and Cross River States were the most affected in the region.

South-south Zonal Co-ordinator of NEMA, Mr. Emenike Umesi, said in a press conference in Port Harcourt yesterday that 2,076 persons were also affected by fire disaster while 3,353,210 were impacted by flood and 1,541 by windstorm in the region.

He disclosed that the worst hit community in the disaster was Buanchor, a village in Boki Local Government Area of Cross Rivers where almost the entire village was washed off by landslide.

"Buanchor in Boki Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State had a very terrible landslide that displaced the entire villagers while the only secondary school in the area was washed off by the landslide. The villagers got wind of the landslide and escaped because it came with a very loud bang and they ran for their lives. That is the reason why we did not record any deaths in the incident," he said.

He also said the agency had recorded a major breakthrough in drafting legal frameworks in emergency response as Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Delta States have set up their respective state emergency response agencies.

He called on states that were yet to set up their emergency response agencies to expedite action to enhance emergency management which could save lives.

Umesi stated that the activities of the agency in the 2013 would focus on disaster risk reduction that would centre on training programmes in tertiary institutions as a way of enlightening youths on emergency management.

He emphasised the need for various stakeholders such as the state governments and other relevant organisations to collaborate with the agency to improve on emergency management.

"There is need for states governments to make concerted efforts to improve emergency services in the zone. The states have not done enough in the management of emergency situation," Umesi said.

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