Nigeria: UNICEF calls for early Preparation against flood disasters
By Mohammad Ibrahim
(Kaduna) United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has sensitized ordinary Nigerians and other stakeholders on the need to start early preparation before emergencies strike, particularly related to flood in the country.
In 2015 hundreds of houses and lives were destroyed by floods in more than 10 states across the country. Over thousands people were displaced by the floods just few months back some of the 2015 displaced victims received government assistance.
With the rainy season here again, a 3-day Emergency and Preparedness Response workshop on Flood was organized by UNICEF for emergency stakeholders in 13 states in the Northern part of the country plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and media practitioners.
UNICEF, Emergency Specialist, Olusoji Adeniyi stressed the need for people to start emergency preparedness in their homes, saying rains are here and the floods are going to come whether people like it or not.
He explained that emergency preparedness and response is everybody's business, "if we prepare, we are likely to have better chance of responding appropriately.
"So, if you know you are living in a place that was flooded before, this is the time you should know that it's likely to flood again and you should have plan B of when you need to relocate to higher ground or to clear your drains.
" make sure that sufficient provisions are made for the water to flow away rather than flow into your apartment, if your environment is clean and the drains are well taken care of you are likely not to suffer flood," he said.
Media and External Relations Officer, UNICEF Kaduna, Rabiu Musa delivered a paper on "Media Engagement in Emergencies".
He noted that emergencies are facts which is part of people's daily lives and as such must be prepared for, addressed and responded appropriately and timely too.
Rabiu said " Emergencies are setbacks that creates injurious situation, lost of lives and properties which requires quick strategic decisions and actions to contain the situations it creates," He seeks for the cooperation of the media which he said has a greater role to play in sensitizing the public on emergency response.
"we recognize the power and potentials of the media as an integral partner in preventing and responding to emergencies," he said. Rabi'u called on media to continue to deliver on positive reportage in constantly educating and informing the people on issues of emergencies and to also respect people's privacy especially when it concern children and women.