Gombe — The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said on Tuesday in Gombe that it would engage 154,800 persons as volunteers across the country on disaster reduction and emergency response.
The Director General of the agency, Alhaji Mohammad Sani-Sidi, said this in a message to a two-day workshop on emergency preparedness and response plan for members of the Bauchi State Emergency Operation Team.
Sani-Sidi said that the agency would train 200 persons for each of the 774 local government areas in the country to be volunteers on disaster reduction and management.
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"In an attempt to take emergency management to the grassroots, the Agency has established Emergency Vanguards and Executive Volunteers comprising youths and professionals trained on disaster reduction and emergency response.
"NEMA is working on an existing platform of having at least 200 NEMA volunteers in each of the 774 local government areas of Nigeria, thus having at least 154,800 volunteers nationwide and integrating into the NEMA community Resilience Network.
"This will enable members of every community to understand their core values, care for one another, uphold communal peace, harmony and sustainable development."
The director-general said the agency was also partnering with the six federal universities in the six geopolitical zones of the country to provide post-graduate courses on Disaster Management and Development Studies.
According to him, NEMA is also patnering with the media to enlighten the public on disaster risk reduction and support for community resilience.
In a message the occasion, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Prof. Mala Daura, said the workshop was timely, in view of the fact that drought, desertification and floods confront the communities every year.
"Developing a culture of preparedness to reduce their risks and impacts is therefore, a task that we must all subscribe to as well as collaborate in sustainable disaster risk reduction.
"By this, we will make our communities resilient and thereby build a culture of prevention among our people", Daura, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Services, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi.
In a remark, the Bauchi State Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Faggo, appealed to NEMA to assist the state government in resettling the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state as well as relocate some communities displaced by flood in Madufa and Gara.