The Executive Secretary, SEMA, Mrs Nkechi Eneh, made this known in Enugu during a workshop organized for stakeholders to review the state’s Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Mrs Eneh who said that 20 fatalities were recorded in the 50 accidents within the period, revealed that there were continual increase in the number and magnitude of emergencies globally.
While disasters continually challenge the adequacy and efficacy of existing management and response capacities, she said.
“Enugu State has witnessed an increase in the number of natural and man-induced disaster incidents.
“In 2017, the state recorded a total of 279 fire calls, and 238 road accidents involving 450 vehicles.
“Last month, we experienced unprecedented rainstorms that ravaged communities in the state.”
Mrs Eneh said that the workshop was another milestone to brainstorm with stakeholders in the industry to fashion out plans geared toward a resilient disaster-free society, adding that preparedness was one of the key indices in disaster management.
“We thought it wise to call together all the stakeholders in emergency in Enugu State, for us to sit together in a room, review the plan, update it also use the opportunity to define roles and responsibilities for emergency managers before, during and after disaster.”
She said: “It was the duty of the agency to ensure that the state was effectively positioned to confront disasters.
“In the past, the practice has always been for the agency to develop its plan and hold it as a secret document for people not to see it.
“However, experience has shown that response is everybody’s business. As a result, it has become pertinent for every partner to know what is in his plan to be able to respond.”
The Lead Consultant to SEMA, Mr. Olusoji Adeniyi, said it was sad that disaster management plans were often times beatiful, but faliure to implementation has become the order of the day.
Mr Adeniyi, while presenting a paper entitled:
“The Humanitarian Imperatives: Challenges of Effective Humanitarian Response,” said that disaster management was a collective responsibility.
He said: “It is important for everyone to understand their roles especially the force responders in emergency management.
“The best thing to be done is to protect the rights of the affected population during a disaster. Only then can we say we are disaster ready.”
The Enugu State Governor, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Robinson Odo, pledged the state government’s continuous support.
The two-day workshop was attended by stakeholders in disaster management, including the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, and the Fire Service.
Others were the Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, and the National Emergency Management Agency.