Stakeholders identify lack of political will as impediment to disaster risk management

Samuel Luka, Bauchi

Stakeholders in the environmental space have during a meeting, identified lack of political will, among others as part of the challenges that impedes on disaster risk management in Nigeria.

Speaking during the meeting at the Chartwell hotel Bauchi on Tuesday, one of the stakeholders, Mr. Samuel Lashom said lack of awareness has also worked unfavorably to disaster risk management.

Mr. Lashom who is the Project Coordinator of Oxfam LINE project in Bauchi explained that the aim of the meeting was to support the Bauchi state government to develop a disaster risk management framework.

“Before now, Bauchi state doesn’t have a framework and as a project, the Oxfam Livelihood and Nutrition Empowerment (LINE) project has been able to facilitate and supported the Communities to develop what we call disaster risk reduction plan”, he said.

Mr. Lashom said when Oxfam approached Bauchi government to see how the plan can be incorporated, it was discovered that the state doesn’t have a framework.

He said that the decision to embark on the program came after Oxfam carried out an assessment in some Communities of the state during which it discovered that Bauchi doesn’t have disaster risk management framework.

Lashom said Oxfam had during the assessment effort interacted with the beneficiaries in all the 360 communities where it worked and discovered that there was a gap.

The project coordinator who expressed delight that the people in the rural communities were able to develop their own context appropriate disaster risk reduction plan, however observed that there was no uniformity in the plan which created the gap.

“We engaged with the people that we are working with, we engaged with stakeholders, traditional and religious leaders, leaders of thought at that level and that’s why we were able to identify that there was a gap”, he emphasized.

Corroborating, the Chairman of Bauchi state humanitarian coordination team of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Muhammed Inuwa Bello said that the purpose of the meeting was to plan for the unexpected and what to do when it happened.

“When you are planning, you look at two major things, funding and political will, are they there? If they are there then you as implementors what do you do? Are you willing to take up the challenge and do what is expected of you? So we are looking at all these things”, he said.

According to him, it was realized that political will doesn’t just come in easily, explaining that the state government is trying to collaborate with civil society organizations to see who matters.

“We want to see who matters, like the state house of assembly, the executive and all other MDAs to solicit for their cooperation because fighting emergency is not for only one person or one organization, all hands must be on deck to make sure that the needful is done”, Inuwa Bello said.

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