Friday, September 11, 2015

Before Disaster Hits us Again, thank you Norway.

ANEEJ Communications Manager coordinating a session at the Disaster Management Workshop
With Mrs Ramat Idiakhe, ANEEJ Admin Manager, and Benjamin Oghenah, NEMA South-South Co-ordinator
A participant examining a chart of disaster prone areas in Ughelli North, Delta State
Group Photo with Participants
The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, organized a 2-day step down workshop on disaster management for selected staff of Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, from Thursday 10th – 11th September 2015 at the Council Secretariat of the Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State. The workshop held in pursuance of the Strengthening Oil Revenue Management in Niger Delta Project phase 2, which is currently being implemented by ANEEJ with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy. It was used to train participants on the following thematic areas:

        To know what disaster really means.
        To set standard practices in flood control and disaster management – what to do if there is a flood disaster.
        The importance of heeding early warning signals from disaster managers.
        How to organize mass sheltering during emergencies and disasters.

The workshop was attended by 20 participants comprising staff of the Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State and Resource Persons from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, host communities and NGOS.

At the end of the workshop, participants made the following observations:
●The threat of the impending flood forecast by NEMA is real in most communities in Ughelli North.
        That at the moment, local government councils and even the State government seems not to be prepared to handle disaster and other emergency situations after the 2012 flood disaster.
        That Ughelli North Local Government still does not have a Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) in place.
        That there is currently a series of flood disasters in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State specifically in Uwheru clan, Ewhreni clan, Agbarha-otor and Ughelli Urban, and that urgent steps need to be taken to check the threat of flood in the primary schools in these communities.
        That many riverine communities like Uwheru, Orheba, Ewreni, Ovwarhowo and Ohoror are currently facing serious coastal and river erosion problems.
·         That many residents still build and erect structures on waterways and canals.

Consequently, participants resolved as follows:
        That the Ughelli North local government be impressed upon to put the necessary facilities in place to enable them to adequately respond to disaster and other emergency situations.
        That the Local Emergency Management Agency should liaise with the Ministry of Local Government Administration to ensure that Ughelli North Local Government Council in Delta State constitutes Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) in compliance with the NEMA Act 2012.
        That government agencies to take action concerning the threat of flooding already being anticipated from the opening of the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.
        Appeal to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Delta State Government to consider the pilling and construction of dykes across communities that are threatened by coastal and river erosion, and a dredging of major waterways linking these communities.
●That the local government council should pursue a vigorous disaster management information drive, through the mosquito technique, and through radio and television.

Signed by the following:
David E, Germany – Representative of Uwheru Community
Prosper Urevbu (Poverty Alleviation For The Poor Initiative), Ughelli North.
Rev. GoodHope Akpoedeye (Pentecostal Fellowship Of Nigeria), Ughelli North.
Kennedy Esuku Deputy HOD Environment UGNLGA
Chris Efe Urevbu – Representative of Ewhreni Community  
Mr. Maxwell Osaweren, Nigeria Peace Corps, Ughelli North
Mr. Famous Okpedo, representative of Agbarha-otor
Mr. Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ.

Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku is Communications Manager with the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ. @DsighRobert