By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA – The Nigerian Red Cross Society, NRCS, Anambra state chapter has solicited the assistance of both the state government, individuals and voluntary organizations for the procurement of necessary equipment and materials for easy evacuation of injured disaster victims across the state, whenever a disaster occurs.
Among such equipment and materials included six ambulance vehicles, four pick-up vans, 1,000 first aid boxes, 10 bales of blankets, 1,000 plastic buckets, 1,000 plastic cups and plates each, 1,000 spoons, N4.5 million worth of medicaments and 500 pieces of stretchers.
State Chairman of Red Cross, Justice Paul Obidigwe (retd.) who disclosed this during their 2017 annual world Red Cross Day celebration at their state headquarters, Awka, said with these materials and equipment at their disposal, their capacity on disaster management would be boosted and mitigated, while their rapid response to the most vulnerable in times of human needs would be enhanced.
According to Justice Obidigwe who was a one-time Chief Judge of Anambra state, the human needs and vulnerability can be classified as follows: vehicular accidents, fire disasters, flood disasters, building collapse, communal conflicts, religious conflicts and reprisal attacks, political violence, armed robbery attacks, kidnap trauma, outbreak of epidemic diseases, internal displacements and herdsmen invasion”.
He specifically appealed to Governor Willie Obiano who he identified as the State Grand Patron of the society and his wife, Ebelechukwu who he also identified as the Mother-General of the society, by virtue of their position to come to their assistance in the interest of humanity.
In his own speech, the state Vice-Chairman of the society, Prof. Peter Emeka Katchy who mentioned the theme of this year’s world red cross day as: “Together for humanity”, disclosed that this year, the International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent, and the International Federation of Red Cross are strategically appraising and evaluating the vantage roles of humanitarian togetherness and the need for greater emphasis on volunteers’ joint efforts as the major executors for service to humanity and the power of humanity.
According to Katchy, “every emanating disaster situation are all anchored and piloted by the volunteers and massive Red Cross membership, adding, theme for this year’s celebration is in recognition and honour to the teeming volunteers of Red Cross all over the world covering 187 member nations with more than 250 million supporters virtually in sovereign nation of Red Cross”.
Responding, the representative of Chief Fire Officer of the state fire service, announced a donation of two first aid boxes for the Red Cross, while the representatives of Civil Defence, Nigerian Immigration Services, Nigeria Prisons and State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA pledged to synergize with the Red Cross for optimum results.