ABUJA-WORRIED at the high rate of fire disasters in the country, the federal government Friday,organised public awareness campaign for private and public organisations with the aim of curbing the ugly developments.
The event which held in Abuja,in commemoration of the 2020 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction,saw men of the Federal Fire Service performing simulated fire exit drill to the admiration of participants drawn from both the private and public sectors.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq,whose ministry organised the event,explained that the purpose of the fire exit or evacuation drill was to ensure effective and efficient use of the exit facilities available in the case of emergency.
According to the minister, the focus of the event was “in raising awareness among the public and private organizations as well as mitigating the risks of fire especially in the high rising buildings.”
“Such drills ensure orderly exit under control and prevention of panic that has been responsible for much of the loss of life in major fire disaster.
“We are translating the call for disaster risk reduction into action and departing from the normal rhetoric in making international days with speeches,” she said.
The minister said as a ministry charged with the responsibility of coordinating all actions in disaster preparedness and mitigation, it was “poised to continue a sustained sensitization of the general public to guide against unforeseen fire disaster.”
Noting that “13th of October every year has been set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness, educate the public and to mobilize political will and resources in ensuring disaster risk reduction globally,Farouq said
“Nigeria,through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD), in realization of the need to ensure coordinated approach in addressing disaster risk reduction,has chosen this year’s national theme as “Disaster Risk Governance”.
“This national theme is a reflection of the Ministry’s focus on strengthening the existing strategies for disaster risk reduction and to facilitate the development of new ones where there are gaps in line with international best practices as contained in the Sendai the Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015,” she emphasized.
According to her,”What we have just done is remarkable, considering the series of incidences of fire disaster in public and private building in Nigeria”,regretting that,” In 2020 alone we have witnessed more than 20 fire incidents in both public and private buildings.”
” Experience and research have shown that panic, stampede and smoke inhalation rather the burns from fire have been responsible for loss of life in the major fire disaster history,”she said.
She thanked President Muhammadu Buhar for what she described as “his vision and creating enabling environment for translating his vision into action.”
“We at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development shall continue to uphold the mantle of his visionary leadership,” she added.