December 4, 2023

International Day for Disaster Risk: President of Vox Populi Foundation, Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN Calls for More Measures to Reduce the Impact of Natural Disasters in Nigeria

Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN

On International Day for Disaster Risk Day, the President of Vox Populi Foundation, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN has called for recovery interventions that focuses on restoring, redeveloping communities impacted by a disaster in Nigeria.

Themed “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030,” the United Nations General Assembly has identified October 13th as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction to advocate global education on disaster risk reduction,” said Chief Gadzama, SAN.

He continued that “Disaster risk reduction is aimed at preventing new and reducing existing disaster risks and managing residual risk, all of which contribute to strengthening resilience and further the achievement of sustainable development.

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is indeed an opportunity to recognize the progress toward preventing and reducing disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods, and health in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The 2022 target is Target G: “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030”.

According to Gadzama, SAN, “there are several disasters everywhere globally, and as a point of reference, Nigeria is battling one of its worst floods in a decade with more than 300 people reported to have already been killed in 2022. The present flooding has equally destroyed thousands of hectares of farmland and has worsened fears of acute disruption of food supply which is already substantially disrupted by armed conflict in the country’s north-west and central regions.

“According to Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, half a million people have been affected by the floods in 27 of the country’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), including 100,000 who have been forced to flee and more than 500 who have been injured. The floods have also led to fuel scarcity in the FCT Abuja and its environs. Having grounded the movement of fuel tankers which are majorly the source of transportation of PMS in the country. October 13th is therefore very apt and relevant, having been set aside to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster-resilient communities and nations.

“As a measure of providing succour and curbing the effects of the various disasters Nigerians are bedevilled with, several Disaster Risk Reduction measures must be put in place to curb the effects of disasters in Nigeria. As a Foundation, we must emphasize that the Nigerian government must understand that it plays a fundamental role in Disaster Risk Reduction by ensuring that emergency plans in reaction to cases of natural disasters are prepared and improved upon especially in the affected areas over time. Surely, with profound emergency plans, more people will survive natural disasters. Governments have to ensure these plans accommodate present realities and adjust accordingly when they get new insights.

The Vox Populi Foundation is therefore encouraging the implementation of these actions and measures:

• Identifying and quantifying disaster risk
• Education and knowledge expansion
• Making people aware of their risk (raising awareness in various communities
• Enhancing institutional and legislative frameworks
• Providing financial security to vulnerable individuals and enterprises (finance and contingency planning)
• Integrating DRR across many areas, such as health, the environment, and so on.

On an occasion such as this, the Vox Populi Foundation is also restating that more needs to be done to curb new hazards from forming as a result of increased urbanization, the threat of climate change, and other risk drivers. Lots of disasters might still occur as a result of repeated failures in a society that is becoming more interrelated, as we are now witnessing. Sustainable development is attainable; the question is whether we can adjust our attitude in time to avoid disaster risk from reaching disastrous levels.

It is important to synergize with a view to helping those people who are displaced and affected by disasters right now. We can do this by spreading more awareness and educating others on the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction. Remember we need to join hands and work together to reduce the risk of disaster.” The statement from Vox Populi dated October 13, 2022, enjoined.

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