FLOODING: HOW VOLUNTEERS SAVED LIVES
By: Prudence Okonna
The Director General, Federal Capital Territory, Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) Abbas Idriss, has attributed the “no loss of lives” success recorded during the floods by the agency to the efforts of its volunteers.
The FEMA DG made this known on the commemoration of the International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2022 on Tuesday in Abuja.
While lauding the contributions of the volunteers across the six Area Councils, Idriss noted that one of the factors that make FEMA outstanding among other emergency agencies in the country is that it makes use of volunteers who are first responders in emergencies, reach the communities and communicate in the language the people understand.
His words:“One of the reasons that made us have a very successful raining season without any loss of life is the use of volunteers and so we need to celebrate the day.”
Idriss also assured that in the coming year, the agency plans to train both professional and non-professional volunteers in all age brackets to help them understand better their responsibilities and respond to emergencies in the nation’s capital.
The FEMA boss also appealed to FCT residents to beware of risky behaviours that may trigger fire outbreaks in homes, markets, offices, and other public places especially as the weather is cold and windy.
He further called on Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), and Abuja Markets Management Limited (AMML) to scale up their level of sensitization in order to reduce fire outbreak risk among residents driven mostly by ignorance or negligent attitudes.
While harping on the theme for the 2022 IVD, “Solidarity through Volunteering”, the FEMA boss appreciated the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, through the Nigerian National Volunteer Service (NNVS) for amplifying and promoting the role of volunteers in the global community.
He also acknowledged the supportive roles of the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, and the Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola.
Speaking earlier, the Director of Relief and Rehabilitation, FEMA, Muhammad Abdulrahaman noted that the over 300 volunteers across the six Area Councils under the agency’s purview had been trained in various life-saving areas such as first aid for accident victims, fire outbreak prevention, personal and environmental hygiene among others.
Also, Agodi Emmanuel, the Head of the Department, Nigeria National Volunteer Service, Office of the SGF, said that the Federal Government was working actively to encourage the spirit of volunteerism.
A major highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to three recipients for their outstanding volunteerism in cases of emergency in the FCT.