From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Executive Secretary (ES), Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Abubakar Hassan, has described the attitude of some people as causes of most of the fire disasters in the State.
The ES who stated this while fielding questions from journalists at a 2-day training of field officers on hazard profiling and hazard mapping drawn from the 23 local government areas in Kaduna noted that the fire disasters between 2020 and January to May 2021 had cost the State hundreds of millions of naira which would have been spent on other developmental needs of the people.
SEMA is currently implementing a project called “System Strengthening on Emergency Coordination and Response in Kaduna State” supported by USAID Nigeria Early Recovery Initiative, aimed at reducing hazards in the State.
According to the ES, “this is another phase of review of contingency plan in Kaduna and at the end of the day developing that document that will allow us to manage hazards in Kaduna and build our contingency plan around all the early warning signals.
“We need to train the field officers which is in addition to the training we had last week where we borough officers from the local government together.
“We expect nothing less than being professionals and maximum commitment on the job. We have 23 of them one per local government.
“From our review and assessment, the major causes of fire disaster in Kaduna State is attitudinal behaviour of some people. If you understand the nature of the disaster and how to manage it, it will go a long way in reducing the loss of lives and property to disasters and that is why this exercise we are doing is very important – using the bottom-top approach.
“NIMET has predicted heavy downpour this year but before then, we have been engaging communities and carried out some assessment of the areas prone to flood and causes of the flood to prepare for the year 2021.
The Kaduna government spent hundreds of millions of naira to mitigate disasters in 2020 and early 2021”, he said.
A participant at the training, Dangwa Abbas Martins said, “this training is very important to us in Kaduna State because we are developing hazard profile for Kaduna State. The last time this was done, some of the things that constituted disasters in Kaduna State then were no more in vogue.
“We now have a chance of doing something more holistic because, from the outlook of what is being done here, it is going to involve all the 23 local government which is entirely different from what we have seen in the past to make sure there are no assumptions to what constitute hazards in Kaduna State”.