The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has urged the local government councils in the country to set up and equip their Local Emergency Management Agencies (LEMAs) to respond to disaster situations.
The NEMA South-East Coordinator, Mr Fred Anusim, who spoke in Enugu, said the emergency and disaster response is everybody’s business.
Anusim spoke on the sideline of the agency’s ongoing programme to sensitise residents of Enugu State living in low land areas about the impending flooding as predicted by experts.
The coordinator said that LEMAs ought to be the first responders to any disaster or emergency situations before the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and NEMA.
“For instance, we have concluded sensitisation in communities in the five council areas of Enugu state living in low land areas about two weeks ago.
“The councils are Enugu east, Enugu south, Uzo Uwani, Igbo Etti and Enugu north,” Anusim said.
He said that the people were sensitised on the need to relocate to upland areas and remain alert about the impending flood in collaboration with Enugu SEMA and council chairmen.
Anusim said that council chairmen should continue where NEMA and SEMA stopped.
“They should ensure that their people do the needful and avoid an avoidable devastation and destruction of lives and property in their areas.
“However, the council chairmen needed an effective LEMA to carry on from where we stopped and attend to other unforeseen disaster situations in their various council areas.
“Federal Government cannot do it all. It requires everybody’s effort, especially the locals and the local authorities,’’ he said.
Anusim promised that NEMA would continue to monitor and partner all willing disaster management agencies and organisations to ensure a win-win situation for all Nigerians, irrespective of their place of abode.