Mitigating The Effect of Natural Disaster: How Prepared Is Nigerian Govt?
Nigeria News examine the level of preparedness of the government to mitigate the effect of natural disaster.
No man has power to prevent natural disaster. It is a sudden event that has killed millions of souls and destroyed property around the world.
Storm, flood, earthquakes, tremor, ocean surge, hurricane, volcanic eruption, mudslides to mention but a few are common natural disasters that have defied control through human effort.
Human activities unsettle the earth everyday and when nature fights back, it is always disastrous. Global warming as a result of industrialization and subsequent depletion of ozone layer.
The consequence of the global warming is glacier meltdown, which of course has tremendously increased the water body.
Deforestation has thrown many cities and towns into erosion and many other geological features. The world climate has changed as man waits to face the misadventure this will bring.
In Sierra Leone, a few months ago, thousands were killed in mudslides. In Europe and America, human beings were swept away by ravaging water.
Disaster is unusual but it is natural. However, science detects natural disaster, it cannot stop it from happening.
To a larger extent, Nigeria has been lucky, except man-made natural disaster that it had been creating through sand filling of the lagoon and construction of structural defective buildings.
Hundreds of Nigerians die in building collapse and flood. Soon the Oyan Dam will be opened and as usual the water will flow through residential areas of Oyo, Ogun and Lagos State.
Though, the state governments had advised people living around river banks to relocate, the flood usually gets to the nooks and crannies of towns like Owode on Ikorodu Road, Mowe, Ibafo, Magboro, Arepo and many other towns.
Twice in three years, the flood destroys houses, sweep away residents and disrupts commercial activities in these areas.
What the Federal Government has been doing over the years is to provide ecological funds, much of which is spent on provision of relief materials for victims of flood rather than using it to mitigate the effect of disaster.
As a matter of fact, many of the state governments divert the funds to some other areas of needs. To them, mitigating the effect of natural disaster is not a priority in a nation where millions do not have food to eat.
In Lagos, however, the government came out on Monday to scale up the monitoring and surveillance capacities of relevant agencies to ensure compliance with appropriate laws in its bid to mitigate disaster.
At the 3rd Lagos State Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Summit themed “Promoting and Sustaining Integrated Response to Emergencies within the Golden Hour” the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode posited that the recent events in the state in the accident of building collapse has spurred him to be more proactive on mitigating the effect of natural disaster.
He said one of the key steps taken by his administration to promote greater efficiency among the various Departments and Agencies with responsibility for managing emergencies in the State is the creation of the Safety Arena.
“The idea is to bring together these agencies whose duties are dependent and complementary within the same complex. These agencies include the Fire Service Department; Environmental Health Department; Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS); State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit (SEHMU); Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA); Lagos Safety Commission; Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA); Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC); Nigerian Legion amongst others”, he explained.