NEMA, UN-OCHA to Support Communities Ravaged by Flood

November 8, 2022
communities ravaged by flood

By Adedapo Adesanya

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) has offered to collaborate with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) toward providing support to communities affected by the 2022 floods in the country.

The Head of UN-OCHA Nigeria, Mr Trond Jensen, disclosed this during a visit to NEMA headquarters in Abuja, saying the office was prepared to support in the areas of assessment as well as information management among others.

Other areas include resource mobilisation and capacity enhancement towards building resilience in the affected communities and helping the affected persons to recover from the disaster.

In addition, he said in line with its coordination mandates, the UN-OCHA would identify and request the support of relevant agencies of the United Nations in Nigeria to also deploy available assistance to the affected communities.

However, he noted that UN-OCHA was aware of the significance of working with the relevant agencies of the Nigerian government, which NEMA had been identified as a suitable platform for the provision of aid.

Responding, the Director-General of NEMA, Mr Mustapha Habib Ahmed, appreciated UN-OCHA for the offer of assistance to the affected persons and communities ravaged by floods, while he assured of the collaboration of NEMA with the UN-OCHA.

He said, “I appreciate your continuous intervention in the prolonged humanitarian crisis in the North East region, supporting NEMA to develop a joint humanitarian action plan and capacity building for the Agency’s staff.”

“I believe that your visit today will provide us the opportunity for a greater conversation on supporting people impacted by the ongoing flood disaster and other conflicts, especially in the North West and North Central states of Nigeria.”

The recent flood disaster that has affected the entire Nigerian federation, coupled with the prolonged humanitarian crisis in the North East region, banditry in the North West and North Central states, political agitation in the South East region and environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region have no doubt created a cocktail of challenging events for NEMA and its partners.

NEMA said it is not relenting in its efforts at disaster risk management, the building of national resilience and relief service delivery for Nigerians in distress.

The current flood disaster outlook indicates that all 36 States and the FCT have been impacted. 612 persons are reported dead; 3,219,780 are affected; 1,427,370 persons are displaced and 2,776 others are injured.

A total of 181,600 houses are partially damaged; 123,807 houses are totally damaged; 176,852 hectares of farmland are partially damaged, and 392,300 hectares of farmland are totally destroyed. There is a widespread environmental dislocation.

He said NEMA has been working closely with State Governments and all relevant partners to ensure that life-saving assistance is delivered in a well-coordinated and effective manner.

“We have delivered humanitarian relief assistance in the form of food, non-food items and basic household utensils to support the efforts of state governments. So far, we have reached over 1, 427,370 displaced persons in 28 states and the FCT. The intervention is still ongoing,” he said.

He explained that NEMA has deployed its emergency response assets, including mobile water purification equipment, search and rescue boats, and Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICUs) Ambulances, to conduct life-saving first aid and support to vulnerable populations.

“Some of the challenges we have faced include the slow movement of both human and material assets in addition to relief items due to flooded and quite often washed away roads, bridges and over issues of safety and security in some areas. Our partners in the Military Disaster Response Units (DRUs) have supported us with their air assets to conduct airdrop of relief materials in cut-away locations.

“We are looking forwards to the support of the UN-OCHA both materially and through the sharing of your vast wealth of experience in global best practices in managing complex emergencies as we are confronted with.

“I am aware that you are working towards facilitating support to NEMA through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to aid the ongoing flood disaster relief efforts in Nigeria.”

“I once more welcome you for this very important visit which I believe will open a new vista of mutual support and collaboration between NEMA and the UN-OCHA,” the DG concluded.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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