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Disaster Management : The Best Approach

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Disasters have harmfully affected humans since the origin of our existence and in response, we have made several efforts to reduce our exposure to them. Most times we tend to misuse the word “Disaster” and “Hazard”. Disaster is an unforeseen event causing great loss, upset or unpleasantness of whatever kind. It can be defined as an unexpected natural or man-made catastrophe of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life or sometimes permanent changes to the natural environment.  Hazard in a simple term is a lurking danger.

Hazards if not discovered on time has an adverse effect on the people, organization or the environment. I read a story of a man who got burnt for answering his phone while cooking dinner. I had a news of some fuel tanker that burnt down a fuel station simply because an addicted chain smoker was smoking cigarette beside a tanker filled with combustible gas. These are instances of hazards which if properly guided we can avert to prevent the disaster from occurring.

There are two major Approaches or Concepts Disaster Management such as;

  • The Vulture concept: here the agency waits for disaster to occur before they take actions
  • The Eagle concept: The agency employs forecasting and early warning on the hazards to prevent and mitigate large-scale humanitarian displacements and catastrophes (Ndace 2008).

Some of the developed countries in Europe apply the Eagle concept towards managing series of disaster befalling their country while Some developing and under developed countries in Africa apply the Vulture concept. The most effective approach towards disaster management is the Eagle concept as it leads to better management which is why the developed countries have the power to contend most of the human induced disasters as well as the natural disasters.

Common examples of these disasters include;

  • Slipping or falling
  • Fire out breaks
  • Terrorism/kidnapping and taking hostage
  • Bio hazards through aerosol or food supply
  • Overcrowding
  • Panic and hysteria

However, when you have disabled people at the scene, they are at greater risk if they can not hear or see the warning signs or unable to leave the premises quickly. In large workplaces, drawing of the emergency precautions systems may be helpful. For example;

  • The location of the main electrical supply switch
  • The main gas shut-off valve
  • The escape routes
  • The position of the fire detection and firefighting equipment
  • Emergency lighting system

Also, provision should be made for alerting people with hearing impairment if alarms systems are audio only. Eg. Flashing light on smoke detectors or specialized alarms installed in the rooms should be made available to people in this category. Auxiliary aids could be available for emergencies such as wheelchairs and where there are staircases and ramps, there should be appropriately situated handrails.

In terms of the control, we have Hierarchy of Controls for Disaster Management;

  • Physically remove the hazards
  • Replace the hazards
  • Isolate people from the hazard
  • Change the way people work
  • Protect the people with personal protective equipment

The National Disaster Management Framework (NDMF) in 2010 recognized 3 broad stakeholders in disaster response groups namely;

  • Primary responders which includes community-based institutions or groups, faith-based organizations (FBOs), Grassroot Volunteers, etc.
  • Secondary responders which includes the Military, the Police, the Fire service, the para-military organizations, the Red cross and NEMA.
  • The tertiary responders include Humanitarian and Development agencies.

The incidence of disaster as much as their impacts has been rather threatening in recent years on the developing nations has been more debilitating owing principally to their high vulnerability to such occurrences as well as the inadequacies of the emergency management infrastructure and practices in such contexts. Unfortunately, the issue of disaster management in Nigeria has not been properly situated and prioritized. The efforts of the various Nigeria government in respect of disaster management has been characteristically inefficient owing to the fact that such endeavors have not been organically blended into the national development security strategy.

In conclusion, the National Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMA) aspiration in respect to the above subject matter have been hampered by inadequacies such as;

  • Funding
  • Lack of capacity in terms of trained personnel,
  • Equipment and Logistics
  •  Weak Executives capacity and supports

Therefore, the need to create disaster management awareness in our various countries cannot be over emphasized. This is because disaster management goes beyond lips service which requires everyone to employ concerted effort for the overall interest of the citizen.

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Security

Police arrest 259 suspects over alleged banditry, kidnapping culpable homicide in Niger

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By Gistflash News

Sept 18, 2021

Police arrested about 259 suspects over banditry, kidnapping, culpable homicide, rape, farmers/herders conflicts and other crimes in Niger in August.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Monday Kuryas, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Saturday that then crimes were committed in 25 local government areas of the state.

“We have charged 119 suspects out of the 259 arrested in court, 81 of them are still standing trial,’’ he said.

He added that 59 suspects were still under investigation at the state Criminal Investigation Bureau, while nine cases had been sent to the state’s Ministry of Justice for vetting and legal advice.

He explained that the command also recovered three locally-made single barrel guns, one Dane gun, and two locally-made pistols with three live cartridges.

The police commissioner also told NAN that the command tackled banditry in Ma’undu village of Mariga Local Government Area, which had been the stronghold of bandits.

He said that Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in the 25 local government areas had been directed to beef up security architecture in their respective areas of supervision.

“We appeal for support and cooperation from members of the public who should give us intelligence information that could aid in apprehending miscreants in their midst.

“We are battle ready to confront any person or group of miscreants undermining the peaceful nature our state is known for through well- coordinated security approaches to enhance peaceful coexistence among our people,’’ Kuryas said.

NAN

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Security

High populations of women, youths critical in combating insecurity –Minister

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By Gistflash News

Sept 17, 2021

The Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, says the high populations of women and youths in Nigeria were critical to combating the myriad security challenges facing the country.

Dingyadi, who is also the Katukan Sokoto, was speaking on Thursday in Abuja when the National Executive Committee members of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC ), led by its National Chairman, Dr Faruk Maiyama, paid him a courtesy call.

” The women and youths have larger populations that play strategic roles in curbing the menace of insecurity in the nation like banditry, kidnapping, insurgency, cattle rustling and other crimes.

” The Federal Government would, therefore, continue to harness these demographic resources to make Nigeria safer and more secure .

” The women’s wing of the PCRC has also been diligent and committed in the discharge of their duties and I strongly believe that the sky will be their limit”, Dingyadi said.

He thanked the Federal Government and Nigerians for the sustained support they had been relentlessly extending to the ministry and the police.

The minister lauded the committee for its ceaseless efforts in facilitating the smooth operations of the police, saying, “Ensuring the security of lives and properties of all law abiding Nigerians is the responsibility of all patriotic Nigerians.

“We are satisfied with the roles you have been actively playing in this direction and you should not relent,” the minister added.

He underscored the importance of the various committees set up by the PCRC, saying, ” they have been serving as veritable links between the ministry, the police and the public.”

Speaking earlier, Maiyama commended Dingyadi for repositioning the ministry, as well as restoring confidence in the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force.

” This is by respecting seniority in the appointment of the Inspector General of Police and ensuring the successful take off of the Police Trust Fund.

“” The Minister has also ensured the immediate implementation of the community policing policy nationwide, and the establishment of a police-public complaints committee in the ministry.

“The numerous achievements of the minister within a short period was what informed the decision of the National Executive Council of the PCRC to confer on him an Award of Excellence.

” This was in recognition for his contributions to the maintenance of peace and security in the country”, Maiyama said.

He implored Dingyadi not to rest on his oars until the peace and tranquillity for which Nigeria was known for were fully restored. (

NAN

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Education

UNICEF campaigns: #ReopenSchools, as 77m children spend 18 months shut out of classrooms

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By Gistflash News

Sept 17, 2021

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says the world is facing an education crisis due to the COVID pandemic, that has left nearly 77 million children shut out of the classroom for the past 18 months.

UNICEF is closing down its social media channels on Thursday for the next 18 hours to send one message to the world: #ReopenSchools for in-person learning as soon as possible, the UN correspondent of the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is joining UNICEF, together with the World Bank, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid operation, the LEGO Foundation and the WEF Global Shapers community of world youth.

For UNICEF, the right to go to school is central to every child’s development, safety and well-being. Yet in too many countries, classrooms remain closed, while social gatherings continue to take place in restaurants, salons and gyms.

The agency believes “this generation of children and youth, cannot afford any more disruptions to their education.”

New numbers from UNESCO, released this Thursday, showed that schools are now fully open in 117 countries, with 539 million students back in class, ranging from pre-primary to secondary levels.

This represents 35 per cent of the total student population across the world, compared to 16 per cent who returned to school in September 2020, when schools were only open, or partially-open, in 94 countries.

Around 117 million students, representing 7.5 per cent of the total, are still affected by complete school closures in 18 countries. The number of countries with partly opened schools, has declined from 52 to 41 over the same period.

In all countries that had prolonged full school closures, education was provided through a combination of online classes, printed modules, as well as tuition through TV and radio networks.

UNESCO and its Global Education Coalition partners have been advocating for the safe reopening of schools, urging full closures to be used as a measure of last resort.

Since the onset of the pandemic, schools were completely closed for an average of 18 weeks (4.5 months) worldwide. If partial closures are accounted for, the average duration of closures represents 34 weeks (8.5 months) worldwide, or nearly a full academic year.

For UNESCO, the past two academic years have resulted in learning losses and increased drop-out rates, impacting the most vulnerable students disproportionately.

Schools in most countries have adopted some forms of sanitation protocol such as wearing masks, using hand sanitisers, improving ventilation and social distancing, which were also key to re-opening schools in 2020.

Some countries have also introduced large scale testing, as well as temporary classroom and school closures when the virus was detected.

UNICEF and UNESCO say teachers should be prioritised to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in order to ensure a safe return to schools.

Rising vaccination rates among both general population and teaching staff, has also been a key factor in reopening schools.

The vaccination of teachers has been prioritised in around 80 countries, allowing for the inoculation of some 42 million teachers. In a handful of countries, the vaccination of students aged 12 and over, is an important factor in determining the full re-opening of schools.

Action to accelerate the recovery of learning losses remains an essential component of national COVID-19 education responses. For that, UNESCO says teachers and educators need adequate support and preparation.

Connectivity and bridging the digital divide also remained key priorities in building the resilience of education systems and providing hybrid learning opportunities.

For that reason, UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank have partnered in an initiative called Mission: “Recovering Education 2021’’.

The initiative supports governments in bringing all learners back to school, run programmes to help them catch up on lost learning, and prepare teachers to address learning losses and incorporate new digital technology.

NAN

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