SEMA Concludes Hazard, Early Warning Mappings, Validates Findings

After a few months of hazards mapping and profiling as well as early warning training for locals from the 255 political wards spread across the 23 local government areas of Kaduna State, the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), civil society groups and development partners have validated the findings from the field.

To strengthen the community capacity as the first respondent to disaster outbreaks, the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA and Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had trained locals on early warning system set-up and strengthening in Kaduna State.

The training, which formed a significant part of system strengthening on emergency coordination and response project in the state, was aimed at reducing vulnerability in terms of hazards and at the same time, reduce expenses on relief materials whenever disaster occurred.

In an interview with newsmen at the sideline of the two days validation meeting held at a hotel in Kaduna between August 10-11, the Executive Secretary, SEMA, Abubakar Hassan said, the evaluation meeting became necessary to save lives and cost around disaster management.

According to him, “in the last few months, SEMA with support from trained field officers from the 255 wards in the 23 local government here in Kaduna, has been working in communities.

“At first, we went into these wards to identified hazards and profiles them. Secondly, we went back for early warning training. So, today, we have brought all our findings here together for validation after the presentation – taking comments from actors (government, civil society groups and development partners).

“At the end of the exercise, we would have gotten the input of stakeholders which will help us in building confidence. We have trained 1,800 to respond to hazards from across the state.

“We are doing this because after considering the amount of money that goes into provision of relief material after disasters, it appears we are creating a demand population.

“But rather than investing in the provision of relief materials, we are now providing training for people to identify hazards and early warnings”, he said.

What this means is that the government will be able to reduce that expenditure and at the same time save more lives because people are now aware of what constitute hazards and they can act before getting external help if the need be.

Speaking on emerging discoveries he said, “we have also seen a proliferation of social vices like rape. We are yet to find out what is responsible for this increase. Our responsibility is to bring up these issues and then, the responsible agency can come in to nip it in the bud”.

Talking about the challenges recorded in the process of getting the task done he said, ” current insecurity was an obstacle we encountered in the process of this work.

“What we do was to get clusters of communities who came out to participate and that helped us.

“The local government officials have helped us to be able to penetrate communities even the security threatened locations and hard-to-reach communities”, he narrated.

Sola Ojo Sent In This Report