Nigeria Produces Implementable Draft Policy on Disaster Risk Reduction

Director, Disaster Risk Reduction, Alhassan Nuhu, addressing participants at the workshop to validate the draft policy on DRR in Keffi, Nasarawa State... recently
Director, Disaster Risk Reduction, Alhassan Nuhu, addressing participants at the workshop to validate the draft policy on DRR in Keffi, Nasarawa State... recently

Nigeria, with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Nigeria), now has a concrete and implementable draft policy on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). This followed the validation, last week in Keffi, Nasarawa State, of an earlier draft produced by a large group of stakeholders in Abuja in February, this year.

The policy document is coming up for the first time. The plan of action was initially developed by stakeholders and it was then subjected to scrutiny by a group of selected experts. It is their submission that was validated at a 2-day workshop in Keffi, Nasarawa State last week. It is all in a bid to have a nationally acceptable and practically workable Plan of Action for implementing the Global framework – the Sendai Framework.

The Policy…

The draft policy, now set for implementation after passing through the processes of becoming a national policy, is based on the Sendai Framework (2015-2030), a global initiative on disaster risk reduction. Sendai Framework is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognises that the State/nation has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders, including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.

It aims for the following outcome: the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.

The process…

In February, this year, a draft National Plan of Action was developed at a meeting of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), a nationally owned and led multi-stakeholder forum with special emphasis on Disaster Risk Management. The platform reflects the commitment of the federal government to implement national and local Disaster Risk Management (DRM) activities while linking up to international efforts. The platform was inaugurated on July 13th, 2010 by the then Vice President.

Last week’s painstaking validation work was also organised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP-Nigeria).

UNDP Nigeria said, “It is expected that the platform will leverage the momentum from the regional platform to articulate a national plan of action, national implementation plan for the Sendai Framework as inputs into the upcoming meeting in Mexico.”

The Keffi 2-day meeting witnessed three documents fine-tuned by a core group of stakeholders, emanating in concrete policy document. NEMA said it developed a number of policy documents, in collaboration with the UNDP, “as part of the 8th country programme of the FGN/UNDP Plan of Action.” To concretise these documents, NEMA with support of UNDP organised the workshop to seek the inputs of stakeholders and validate the document reports accordingly.

The Director General of NEMA, Engineer Mustapha Yinusa Maihaja said, “This workshop is being organised with the purpose of seeking the inputs and observation of relevant stakeholders in order to validate three documents that have been completed and submitted by consultants.”

The validation workshop, he noted was for the following documents: The National Plan of Action on the implementation on Sendai Framework on DRR; Structure and framework for the national Platform on DRR; and A National Policy on Disaster Risk Reduction.

After the validation, he said Nigeria would “have in place validated policy document, implementable action plan and workable structure for the National platform that meet requirements for the implementation of the Sendai framework on Disaster Risk Management.”

He recalled that it was at the third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction Held on March 14th – 18th 2015, in Sendai, Japan that the participating countries of the world adopted the Sendai framework for Action which replaced the Hygo Frame work for Action.

The director general said the adoption of the document brought with it challenges that called for all stakeholders in disaster risk reduction in the country to critically examine the document with a view to identifying appropriate implementation strategies. One of such strategies demanded a re-invigoration of the National Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the country.

According to Maihaja, who was represented at the meeting, “Nigeria as a country instituted the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2010 as an off shoot of the global platform for disaster risk reduction which was first held in 2007 and the fifth session is scheduled to hold on May 2017 in Mexico. At a similar meeting of African countries, the 6th Session of Africa Regional Platform on Disaster Risk reduction was hosted by the Government of Mauritius on 22nd – 25th November 2016.

“At the national level, following good practices recommended at the last African regional platform, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organised the National Platform on DRR at Rockview Hotel (Royale), Abuja from the 21st to 22nd February, 2017. Among the resolutions of the meeting was the need to set up a technical committee to produce a working structure for the National platform. Another resolution was the need to develop a National Programme of Action for the implementation of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030.

“Also, following the requirement of SFA 2015 – 2030, priority 2, on the need for a National policy on DRR to guide the implementation of action plans, the country hired the services of a consultant with support of the UNDP to develop a National Policy on DRR for the Country. The consultant having produced draft policy on DRR is now seeking for the input of relevant stakeholders by way of its validation at this meeting.”

He expressed “gratitude to the UNDP and the entire UN System for their continuous support and most especially for supporting NEMA in organsing this Validation workshop. Our partnership with the UNDP has been very rewarding in every facet of disaster risk management in the country.”

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