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NEMA, UNDP partner on national disaster database

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By Ruth Oketunde

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have partnered to establish a national disaster database for Nigeria.

The organisations disclosed this at a two-day workshop on creation of National Disaster Database and Risk Information Management for Sustainable and Risk-informed Development in Nigeria,’’ on Tuesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop, within the context of the ‘Sahel Resilience Project’ of UNDP, had in attendance stakeholders from MDAs, States Emergency Management Agencies, FRSC, the academia, among others.

NEMA Director-General, Mr Mustapha Ahmed, said that the project covered seven countries in the Sahel Region of West Africa, namely Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.

He said that the project was a multi-partnership scheme implemented by UNDP, in collaboration with African Union Commission, ECOWAS, UN Women, Lake Chad Basin Commission and other regional organisations.

Ahmed said that the project was funded under the sole assistance of the Swedish Government.

According to him, the choice of the region is very germane, considering the worrisome physical and human development indices in the area.

He added that the region, which had continued to suffer drought as a major risk factor, had also been faced with continuous deterioration of livelihoods and food security.

The director-general added that the situation required concerted and collective disaster management efforts to ensure that no one was left behind, and as such, data was important.

“It is necessary to stress that management of disaster risks in the contemporary period are anchored on preparedness, mitigation, risk reduction and adaptation.

“This cannot be realised without the full deployment of both quantitative and qualitative data for disaster risk-informed decision, planning and programme implementation.

“I commend UNDP for this laudable workshop on the creation of disaster database for risk informed sustainable development in Nigeria,” he said.

Also speaking, the Project Manager, Sahel Resilience Project, UNDP, Ms Reshmi Theckthil, added that one of the major aspects to effective disaster management was the availability of data.

She added that investment in good, accurate and accessible data would help various communities to develop resilience to disasters in the country.

The project manager also called on government to develop and implement policies that would make the created data useful in the country. (NAN)

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