(Ruth Oketunde, NAN)
Mr Abbas Idriss, Director-General, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has appealed to residents to take personal and collective responsibility and avoid risk behaviours that would increase people’s vulnerability to disasters.
Idriss made the call in a statement in commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, celebrated every year on Oct. 13.
The theme year’s celebration has as theme: ‘ Disaster Risk Governance’.
“These risk behaviours include indiscriminate waste disposal, especially in drainage systems and rivers, building on flood plains, river banks and drainage lines.
“Building under high tension electric lines, violation of FCT planning laws in housing construction and other structural developments.
“Neglect of civic responsibility in clearing of drainage systems for free flow of water and other aspects of environmental sanitation and violation of fire codes in building construction,” he said.
He also called on the FCT residents to also reduce their exposure to disasters.
Idriss noted that the agency operates on a risk prevention strategy and as such, created a strong synergy with critical stakeholders in emergency prevention, mitigation and response.
“As part of our disaster risk reduction strategy, the agency has created a high level of awareness amongst the FCT residents on a number of emergency management issues, especially the need to avoid acts that increase the people’s vulnerability to disaster risk.
“We have created strong synergies among stakeholders and agencies involved in emergency prevention, mitigation and response activities in the FCT.
“The agency is actively involved in conflict management in FCT communities including mediation between cattle herders and farmers.
“We have trained 150 volunteers on fire prevention strategies and established volunteer/disaster vanguard at schools and communities among others,” he said.
The director general added that community participation of all residents in the prevention of disasters would bring about greater results.