Emergency management is as old as human existence itself, as
man has always adopted an urgent approach to issues that affect the safety of
his life, that of his family, and his prized possessions right from the
agrarian economy to the present time. The task however, has in present times
become more frequent and more devastating and has also become more difficult to
handle in the face of dwindling economies of nations.
In the last decade 2005-2015, the idea of managing disasters
has become a contemporary issue as the world has experienced an array of both
known and new models of disaster events. Rubin (2012) listed some of these
disasters as follows: BP oil spill (US 2010), Pakistan flood(2010) Haiti earth
quake(2010) Chile (2010) New Zealand (2010 and 2011), Japan earth quake (2011).
He described the events as extraordinary and overwhelming. Others include USA (Terrorism)(9/11)
(Mcintyre 2009), Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma (2005).
These are all on the international scene. In Nigeria, there have
been major national disasters in the last few years. On December 18, 1980, in
Kano city a notable religious riot between the maitatsines, an anti-westernization
sect and law enforcement officers broke out leaving over 4000 persons dead
(Danjibo 2009). On August 1998, a torrential rain induced flash flood engendered
a dam-break in Bagauda, a small sleepy town in Kano state killing 142 people
and destroying over 18,000 homes and 14,000 farms. The people of Jesse in Delta
state, woke up on October 17, 1998 to an oil pipeline explosion which killed at
least 1000 people mostly women and children. On July 10, 2000, in Ovori court
in Delta state, the fire sparked off by metal containers used to scoop fuel
from a vandalized pipeline led to fire outbreak, which killed over 300 people
and destroyed properties worth over $500 million. January 27, 2002, is a day
that residents of Ikeja would not forget as over 800 persons were killed in a
sewage canal in Oke-Afa while fleeing from the impact of about 1000 bombs that
exploded at Ikeja Military Cantonment (Akpabio & Alao 2002).
Lisa Village in Ogun state, on October 22, 2005 hosted the
Bellview airline (Flight 210) where all 117 people on board lost their lives.
(Opara 2007, NDMF 2010, Nwaneri 2011), Sosoliso airlines DC-9 (flight 1145) was
heading to PH from Abuja when it crashed 1200meters away from the airport
runway killing all 103 people on board, most of them students of a college in
Abuja( Edaghe, Esosa,& Idiodi 2006),. The Abule Egba fire ( Fadeyibi,
Omosebi, Jewo & Ademeluyi 2009) Abeokuta flood of July 26, Boko Haram
insurgency and the UN building bombing of August 2011, which left about 18
persons dead (Adesoji 2010), are all examples of various disasters events
experienced by Nigeria in the last 20years. These and many others have changed
the complexion of disaster management in the world and Nigeria in particular.
of newer technologies such as the internet, Global System for Mobile
Communication (GSM) technology, and the use of satellite systems for peaceful
purposes have also redrawn the pattern of attending to disaster related issues
and assisted in the spread of knowledge in the field of disaster management.
This paper will therefore focus on the concepts that define
disaster management, give a synopsis of the evolution of disaster management in
Nigeria and the various developments relating to legal and institutional
frameworks that have shaped the industry. It will finally look at the emerging
issues and how they will shape the structure, approach, individual and
institutional strategies of the industry in the next few years.
2.0 CONCEPTS OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT
understanding of disaster management is facilitated by a clear definition of
the following concepts in disaster management.
g. Internally displaced
i. Disaster management cycle
j. Disaster management
This is a source of danger that may not lead to emergency or
disaster, or simply a phenomenon with a potential to bring harm.
A set of prevailing or consequential conditions resulting
from physical, social, economic or environmental factors which increase the
susceptibility of a community to the impact of a hazard.
A measure of the likelihood that a hazard will manifest into
an actual emergency or disaster event and the consequences should that event
occur, (Haddow, Bullock & Coppola. 2011), it can also be defined as the
expected or anticipated losses ( lives lost, people injured, properties
damaged, economic activities or livelihoods disrupted) from the impact of a
given hazard on a vulnerable element over a specific period of time.
hazard x vulnerability
The available means, strength or resources available to cope
with hazards, resist their impact, and recover quickly from the effects of the
A serious, unexpected and often dangerous situation requiring
immediate action. This may lead to a disaster if unattended to.
A disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a
society, causing widespread human, material or environmental losses, which
exceed the ability of the affected society to cope using only its own
resources, (UNDP 2010).
These are persons or group of persons who have been forced or
obliged to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in
particular as a result of, or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict,
situation of human rights, or natural or human made disasters, and who have not
crossed an internationally recognized state border, (OCHA 1999:6).
A person(s) who has/have been forced to leave his or her own
country in order to escape war, persecution or natural disaster.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT CYCLE
A holistic and integrated approach to disaster management
which involves prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery and
rehabilitation with emphasis on building strategic relationships at all levels
of disaster management governance.
The coordination and integration of all activities necessary
to build, sustain and improve the capability for disaster prevention,
mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
3.0 EVOLUTION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN
Institutionally, emergency management started in 1906 in
Nigeria under the purview of the fire brigade whose duties as at then apart
from fire fighting included the provision of humanitarian aids in emergencies
and saving of lives and properties during emergencies. This function was transferred
subsequently to the offices of the president and the governors as political
governance began to take shape in Nigeria.
The drought incident of 1972/73 highlighted the short comings
of the inadequacy of a structure to handle disaster management, hence the
formation of National Emergency Relief Agency (NERA) through decree 48 of 1976
to handle all aspects of relief intervention resulting from this disaster and
others going forward. The sole responsibility of NERA was the collection and
distribution of relief materials. (NEMA 2012). At the end of the intervention,
an inter-ministerial committee was set up to review the performance of the
Agency and part of the recommendation was the 1976 stakeholders’ workshop,
which considered among other things
1. Effective and sustainable
2. Expansion of the functions
of NERA to include:
§ Search and Rescue
§ Policy and Strategy
§ Logistics, Relief and
§ Research and Planning
The recommendation of this workshop
led to the formation of National Emergency Management Agency through Act 12 as
amended by Act 50 of 1999.
4.0 EMERGING ISSUES IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA.
The formalization of Disaster management
in Nigeria in 1999 ushered in an era of integrated management and coordination
of disaster management in Nigeria with the National Emergency Management Agency
as the national focal organization (Sadiq 2012). There are many emerging issues
in disaster management amongst which are:
i. Disaster Risk Reduction
(DRR)- Sendai Framework – 2015
ii. Climate Change
iii. Emerging threats
iv. Legal and Institutional
SENDAI FRAMEWORK FOR
DISASTER RISK REDUCTION 2015-2030
This is a follow- up to the paradigm shift from reactive to
proactive approach to disaster management. The introduction of Disaster Risk
Reduction (DRR) was articulated through the Kyoto framework 2005-2015 which
identified five (5) Priority areas (Fagbemi 2011). The new framework which was
arrived at after vigorous negotiations has seven (7) targets and four (4)
priorities for action. The four priorities include
i. Understanding Disaster
ii. Strengthening Disaster
risk governance to mange disaster risk
iii. Investing in DRR for resilience
iv. Enhancing Disaster
preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in
recovering, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
These priorities will be achieved
using the following goals as summarized:
i. Substantially reduced
global mortality by 2030 hoping to lower average per 100,000 global mortality
between 2020-2030 as compared to 2005-2015
ii. Substantially reduce the
number of affected persons globally.
iii. Reduce direct disaster
economic loss in relation to the global GDP by 2030
iv. Substantially reduce
disaster damage to critical infrastructural and disruption of basic services-
health and education facilities
v. Increase the number of
countries with national and local DRR strategies by 2020.
vi. Enhance international
cooperation to developing countries
vii. Substantially increase the
availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster
risk in information and assessment to the people by 2030
All these priorities and goals hinged
on the plan of action on DRR
Climate change is both a complex and protracted hazard and as
such does not come into the sphere of the use of present response mechanisms
being adapted in the country. It is a natural phenomenon that is caused by
anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (O’Brien et.al 2012). According to
Obrien et al (2012) a new approach is needed to underpin the incorporation of
risk management into the work on climate change and the introduction of climate
change into natural hazards and development planning.
Some of the concerns for climate change issues in Nigeria
a. Adaptation funding
b. Appropriate regulatory
c. Government buy in for its
d. Capacity building and
e. Collaboration and
LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK:
establishes the structure and relationships of governmental and non-
governmental organisations including ministries, departments, individuals and
the private sector. It is meant to dictate the institutional arrangement for
disaster mitigation and management which includes the establishment of single
entity at each level of government such as National Emergency Management Agency
(NEMA) responsible for coordination of such activities and maintaining
communication and coordination. SEMA at state and LEMC at local level and
community based management structures.
Dearth of effective legislation and
poor adherence to existing ones has become a major challenge to the practice of
emergency management in Nigeria. The issues here range from poor legal
framework to support humanitarian action through all stages of emergency cycle.
Such questions as:
a. Do we have laws about
setting up SEMAs at the states? If we do, why do we have 25 out of 37 SEMAs in
b. Why do we have 58 LEMCs
out of 774 LGAs in Nigeria?
c. Why are houses still being
built on flood plains and drainage paths?
d. Why are there no effective
laws on Risk transfer as it relates to disasters in Nigeria?
e. Why are SEMAs poorly
funded and poorly staffed in the midst of high demands?
f. Why is the fire service
most ignored and poorly trained and funded in a country where fire incidents
occur on a daily basis?
g. Why are there no water
hydrants in our public infrastructures?
h. How many years will it
take the country to come up with a 3 digit emergency line?
These are some of the questions that bother on the daily
management of disaster in Nigeria.
As the times go by, and the world is
increasingly influenced by the make-believe world of cinema and internet, and
increase production activities, new and more dynamic forms of hazard are
appearing on the disaster scene and complicating response and recovery
activities, among these are the following:
a. Terrorism/ insurgency
c. Oil and gas pollution
d. Pipeline vandalism
e. Epidemics and pandemics
The concept of internal displacements is a national
phenomenon made more topical as a result of two defining incidents in the last
decade. the issue of concession of Bakassi Peninsula and Boko Haram debacle in
the North Eastern Region of Nigeria. Issues arising from this are:
a. National IDP Policy being
the domestication of the Kampala convention
b. Mapping of humanitarian
actors in the field and gaps identification
c. Development of an
alternative to IDP camp by encouraging living with host communities and working
out a support pattern for it.
d. Developing Biometrics for
handling similar situations by accomplishing the National ID card scheme
e. Working out rules of
engagement with INGOs and NGOs participating in humanitarian action.
Collaboration and coordination are
two basic ingredients that determine the quality of all facts of disaster
management. However, as the severity and frequency of occurrence of disasters
increase, there have been continuous strains on the dynamics of coordination in
the industry. Stakeholders’ roles and coordination is weakened due to low
industrial capacity and blurred lines in the roles of various organizations.
The National Coordination mechanism as espoused in the National Contingency
plan has actually been very useful in identifying roles and responsibilities
and also delineated sectors in order to make the accomplishment of roles
In order to succeed in achieving
optimal performance in the sector, the MDAs, NGOs, INGOs, CBOs, FBOs, and the
international development partners have to adopt the coordination mechanism and
key into the sector classifications, identify its roles according to sectors
and ensure they regularly participate in the various activities in the sector.
MAINSTREAMING DRR INTO
Disaster risk reduction is a systematic approach to
identifying, assessing, and reducing the risks of disaster. (wikipedia.org).
This is a strategy aimed at reducing all vulnerabilities associated with
The ability of nations, states, LGAs and individuals to take
note of hazards and include variables that can reduce or eliminate them in
their projects will go a long way to eliminate or drastically reduce disaster.
The arena of emergency management is undergoing a continuous
and ever evolving transformation enabled mostly by the interesting nature of
the disasters and hazards presenting themselves in the sphere. One way to
increase state and local investment in Disaster management is the increase in
There has to be an
increased use of risk transfer strategy in form of insurance through
legislations such as Flood disaster insurance act. There is therefore need for all stakeholders
to come together and ensure that disaster management is given optimal attention
and that national institutions and structures are strengthened to enhance their
performance at all phases of disaster management.
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