Ozumi Abdul Aliu
Stakeholders of Kano State Disaster Management Committee led by Kano State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO) organized a two-day (7th and 8th of October, 2020) workshop to review its activities during Covid-19, flooding and response to other disasters in Kano.
Delivering a goodwill message, the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Special Duties, Hon Muntari Ishaq Yakasai who was ably represented by Director, Administration and General Services, Ministry of Special Duties, Mallam Abubakar Gambo said the Honourable commissioner rued his absence from the workshop due to an emergency meeting that required his urgent attention.
He stressed by noting that the Commissioner in spite of his absence wish the organizers of the workshop success and as well send his goodwill messages. He assured that whatever resolutions that are made that the committee should not waste time in bringing to the knowledge of the commissioner for prompt implementation by the state government.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Kano State, Comrade Saleh Aliyu Jili said the workshop is to create awareness and enlightenment about disaster and its control. He added that the workshop is necessary in order to deliberate on the issue of disaster that confronted the state this year, butressing that over 24 local government areas of the state were badly hit by flood this year.
He added that all resolutions made by the stakeholders will be submitted to the technical committee to work on for the purpose of implementation. “We will ensure that all the resolutions made today by the stakeholders will be submitted to the technical committee, and our prayer is that the government should implement them”, he prayed.
When he was quizzed about the proactive measures put in place to forestall future occurrence of large-scale disaster as witnessed this year in the state, he therefore didn’t mince a word in assuring that all hands are on deck by the stakeholders in protectively ensuring that future occurrences are reduced to its barest minimum as much as possible by doing the needful.
Some of the voluntary organizations that had their representatives in attendance are, Adolescence Health Information Project (AHIP), National Orientation Agency (NOA), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Kano State and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO).
The representative of VSO, Mr Ihechi Nwarie spoke briefly at the workshop about the motive of VSO partnering with SEMA to organize the workshop. According to him there are different partners working in response to disaster, that if their actions are not properly coordinated in a workshop of this nature, it can lead to inability of getting the desired results.
Stakeholders Response to Covid-19 and Flooding
Brief presentation by SEMA, AHIP, NOA, Red Cross, NEMA, Federal Fire Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NiMet revealed that the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), door to door campaign to raise awareness on the ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in communities, installation of 30 tippy taps, veronica buckets and 15 sign posts I across 2 LGAs, distribution of transistor radios to 140 households to continue learning during the lockdown, street to street campaign and distribution of IEC material, community engagement by Community Mobilization Officers (COMOs) in LGAs, media engagement.
The efforts also included training of over 20 volunteers in the dangers and prevention of Covid-19 rumours in 4 LGAs, distribution of palliatives to hospital, distribution of non-pharmaceuticals to victims of flood, over 400 grave yard volunteers were reached with palliatives, Joint hygiene promotion and covid-19 prevention sensitization with SEMA, NOA Ministry of Information, engage community stakeholders through conducting high level community advocacy, SEMA provided some important and technical guidelines around responding to Covid – 19 and how effectively volunteers can carry out an effective and successful door to door Hygiene promotion campaign.
Some of the achievements of the response action by stakeholders were a they reached large number of people with Covid-19 and flood messages and support within a short period of time and limited resources, Large number of volunteers and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)were engaged in the emergency response action, the stakeholders collaborated with other organizations and individuals in the state.
These included poor coordination among the response agencies and stakeholders in responding to distress emergencies, there is no much concrete contingency plan that can be activated to suit all context, absence of training simulations and workshop experience among the stakeholder, there is no central database for sharing information.
The stakeholders recommended that there should be effective coordination among the stakeholders, a standard contingency plan to guide the response agencies and other stakeholders be put in place and there should be regular training, simulations and experience sharing among stakeholders.