NEMA Convened Technical Meeting Of Experts On 2024 Climate-Related Disaster Preparedness And Mitigation Strategies

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has convened a technical meeting of experts for 2024 climate-related disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies following the release of this year’s Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) and the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO).

The technical experts are expected to analyze the seasonal predictions and flood outlook and draw up measures to address the pressing issue of climate-related disasters.

Addressing the meeting, the Director General NEMA Mrs. Zubaida Umar emphasized the urgent need for proactive measures, citing insights from the 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction and Annual Flood Outlook.

Mrs. Umar appreciated the existing collaboration between NEMA and NiMet as well as NIHSA. She highlighted the importance of reliable data for effective response strategies.

She said “Stakeholders with vast experiences in various fields such as Agriculture, Health, Water Resources and Infrastructure have been brought together to brainstorm to come up with actionable climate-related disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies that would assist in preparing for and responding to the expected impact of the predicted climate hazards.

She highlighted the significance of early warning information as very “crucial to disseminate and communicate timely and credible early warning information to enable communities and institutions to anticipate and prepare for disasters by implementing anticipatory action before they occur.”

Director General NEMA Mrs. Zubaida Umar

She also spoke of NEMA’s action plan for 2024 flood management, noting that the meeting was part of the initial activities following the release of the 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) by the Nigeria Metrological Service Agency (NiMet) and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) by the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).

On her expectations from the meeting, she admonished participants to also articulate early warning messages that can help to prepare relevant authorities including States State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) and other stakeholders to take the necessary action required to facilitate risk reduction in their respective jurisdictions. She assured that NEMA would also “continue to map vulnerable communities based on the prediction as indicated by our climate risk monitoring agencies to enhance and strengthen enlightenment campaign in critical states”.

The NEMA DG further said that the Agency will continue to encourage and promote effective cooperation, collaboration and partnership for efficient management of disasters in Nigeria.

The Director General of Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency Engr Clement Onyeaso Eze who also spoke assured that NIHSA will continue to provide necessary hydrological data for NEMA to aid in its flood management activities.

Among other speakers that presented goodwill messages were representatives of the National Space Research and Development Agency, the Nigerian Red Cross Society, the Nigerian Police, and Directors of Centres of Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies from Ahmadu Bello University and the University of Ibadan.

The technical meeting was conceived in line with the coordination roles of NEMA and recognition of collective responsibilities towards safeguarding lives, properties, and livelihoods, with a strong commitment to action.

The meeting is expected to culminate in a blueprint for action, focusing on enhancing early warning systems and mapping vulnerable communities.

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