Disaster Management : The Best Approach
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
- 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;
- 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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Gunmen Attack Anambra Police Station, Kill Four Officers
Unknown gunmen in the early hours of Wednesday attacked a police station located in Atani, the headquarters of Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
It was gathered that the gunmen launched the attack on the police facility around 1:30 am on Wednesday.
A further report had it that four police officers were killed in the attack.
Since the emergence of Charles Soludo as the Governor of Anambra State there had been series of attacks on police and government facilities in the state.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the state police command, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, has confirmed the development.
He said, “The hoodlums came around 1 a.m., and unlucky for us, four police operatives paid the supreme price.”
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng on hearing of the attack immediately mobilized men of the command from various units to the area.
“The hoodlums were still there when the CP personally led men of the command to the affected area, and the timely arrival saved the day and the hoodlums were successfully repelled, and the facility was saved.
“We have commenced intelligence already, and we hope to unravel the persons behind the attack.”
Troops repel attack, eliminate scores of terrorists/bandits in Sokoto — Official
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, in conjunction with other security agencies have eliminated scores of Islamic States for West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists and bandits in Sokoto State.
Defence Headquarters said on Monday in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Benjamin Sawyer.
He said the terrorists were eliminated during a foiled attack on the Forward Operation Base (FOB) at Burkusuma, a remote border settlement with Niger Republic in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
“The aggressive operations of troops of the FOB as witnessed in recent months in the North West region, had been a thorn in the flesh of ISWAP terrorists and bandits.”
Sawyer stated that the attackers who came in large numbers using telecom network provided from neighboring country, capitalised on the lean rear area protection force.
“This was when the main troops were out conducting offensive operations within their area of responsibility.’’
He disclosed that, the troops recorded an undisclosed number of casualties during the encounter.
“However, the swift reinforcement by own troops helped to counter the attack as many of the ISWAP fighters were eliminated, while some scrambled with various degrees of injuries.
“Troops are currently in hot pursuit of the criminals to Bassira in Niger Republic,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nigerian and Nigerien forces in a collaborative operation are currently trailing the remaining ISWAP fighters.
“General security within the FOB and its environs has been stabilised,” he said.
Arms proliferation: Navy urges FG to build walls across borders
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
The Nigerian Navy has urged the Federal Government to build a wall across the country’s borders to stop proliferation of arms and ammunition.
Commodore Jemima Malafa, who represented the Nigerian Navy, said this during an interactive session on four bills pending before the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence on Monday in Abuja.
“We should build a wall between our country and the neighbouring countries,” she said.
“I was in Chad recently and discovered that most of the countries that surround us do not have armouries and that is why most of their citizens get arms that they sell to make money.
“I blame foreign countries that sold and donated arms and ammunition for them without recourse to where they would keep them after use.
“It is as a result of this that Nigeria is in deep crisis; these arms and ammunition will always find their way to Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four bills – the first is a bill for an act to establish the National Commission against the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Others are a bill for an act to repeal the Explosives Act, and bill for an act to make provision for the integration of private Close Circuit Television (CCTV) into the national security network in Nigeria.
The last one is a bill for an act to designate the month of November as the National Appreciation Month for Security Agencies.
Mr Shehu Ahmed, representative of the Department of Security Service (DSS) in his contribution said the proposed bill for the establishment of the commission was commendable.
He, however, said that the appointment of members to be in charge of the commission should have nothing to do with politics because of the sensitive nature of the commission.
He said that the Director-General of the commission should not be encumbered with too much power, adding that people of questionable characters should not be allowed to work in such office.
He called for the independence of the commission, adding that henceforth, it did not have to source for staff from other security agencies.
He said that on CCTV, all the security agencies should have access to it to aide investigation of any kind, adding that the explosive act bill would help achieve the desired national security.
Commodore Friday Ogohi, a representative of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) said that the bill on National Commission would help in the effective control of light weapons.
He said that the structure of the commission should be hinged on command and control, adding that membership should be drawn from existing security agencies based on experience.
He said that though the supervising ministry was not indicated in the proposed bill, adding that it was advisable that the Ministry of Defence oversaw the commission.
Ogohi also called for the establishment of special court to arrest the menace of arms smugglers and illegal arms, stressing that the CCTV would further boost the fight against bandits and other criminality.
According to him, public places such as schools, churches and work places should be considered for CCTV as this will help to monitor the activities of scavengers by security agencies.
Air Commodore Olasunkami Abu, who represented the Chief of Air Staff, said that proliferation of arms was posing a great threat to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
He said that this portends a great danger to national security, adding that membership of the commission should be drawn from the armed forces and the immigration.
NAN reports that other security agencies that made presentation are the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, among others.
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