By Remi Johnson
The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency, FEMA,says it will adopt a more relevant technology to scale up surveillance, coordination and rescue operations in the territory.
Director General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss who stated this while giving the score card of the Agency in 2021, said adoption of drones in the detection of disaster would help the Agency take proactive steps to minimise such occurrences.
Alhaji Idriss said the Agency intervened in both human and natural induced disaster in 2021.
The FEMA Boss who hinted that in the year under review it salvaged goods and property worth over 1.2billion naira from the outbreak of fire in markets, stressed the need for Market Managers to always create space for walkways.
According to the FEMA DG, 3715 lives were saved in various vrescue operations, 2025 lives from flooding with about 802 from the Trademoore Estate flood incident in Lugbe, and recovered 26 vehicles.
He however revealed that some lives were lost to the flooding, with 183 houses submerged in 2021.
According to him, these incidences made the FCT Emergency Management Agency to carry out hazard mapping, vulnerability assessment and deployment of drones to further mitigate disaster in the FCT.
“…to further reduce the response time from 5 to 3 minutes.We intend to use drones particularly during the rainy season and other climatic predictions.
“We also intend to ensure prompt dissemination of year 2022 NIMET and NIHSA flood outlook with a view to guide farming activities and ensure safety of lives and property.
“Embark on Disaster Risk Reduction Campaign (DRRC) across schools in the FCT, training children on emergency management skills especially in boarding schools.” Idriss said.
To minimise incidences of building collapse and drowning, the FEMA DG assured that the Agency would continue to train ,collaborate with the local divers, and interface with Estate developers to check the menace.
“Training and retraining of FEMA search and rescue team, Volunteers, local divers and neighborhood safety committees…Encourage Estates in the FCT to have emergency response plans to protect their estates in order to build resilience on floods and other associated hazards.”
On some of the challenges faced by the Agency, Alhaji Idriss called for the refurbishment of faulty ambulances towards stationing an ambulance across the six area councils with a view to reducing response time .
He also called for the upward review of the Agency’s budgetary allocation to enable it effectively reach out to victims, especially in providing psychosocial therapy to affected persons.
On welfare of displaced persons, Alhaji Idriss said 50 women were trained on skills acquisition and given starter packs, food items and other relief materials in collaboration with JICA.
The Director General of FEMA also said the Agency had enrolled several IDP children in FCT Schools, and currently discussing with the FCT Scholarship Board to give the needed support to them.