Abuja - The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has commenced awareness campaign on fire prevention, mitigation and preparedness for the dry season.
The Coordinator, NEMA, Abuja Operation Office, Mr Ishaya Chonoko, who flagged off the awareness campaign in Kuje Area Council of the FCT decried the impact of high fire outbreaks on lives and property.
``Fire disasters have caused great losses, including loss of lives, damage and destruction of property worth millions of naira.
``This losses especially of lives are irreplaceable and cannot be allowed to continue,'' he said.
Chonoko said that the fire prevention campaign had become necessary, as disaster risk reduction was cheaper and safer than disaster response.
``There is a paradigm shift from disaster response to disaster risk reduction, which originated from the Hyogo Framework of Action, following the International Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Kobe, Japan in 2005,'' he said.
Chonoko said that the Hyogo Framework of Action adopted by 168 member states of the UN placed emphasis on the need to be more proactive in disaster management.
``Part of the ways of being proactive, as it applies to Nigeria, is by sensitising all and sundry to be extra careful in the dry season in their dealings with fire.
``Indiscriminate bush burning for hunting should be avoided, as this could lead to destruction of farm lands, houses, ecosystem and contribution to climate change,’’ he warned.
He advised people to always switch off electrical appliances, acquire and refill their fire extinguishers, as well as clear bushes around them to check outbreak of fires.
Also speaking, the FCT Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Moses Aba, commended NEMA for embarking on the sensitisation exercise.
Aba urged participants to impact the knowledge gained from the campaign on the larger society by discouraging acts that were capable of causing fire outbreak.
He advised participants, especially farmers to enlighten other farmers on the dangers of bush burning.
Earlier, Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Mr Danladi Zhin, who was represented by Alkali Muhammed, said that disaster management should be seen as the business of every patriotic citizen and not that of government alone.
Participants at the awareness campaign included market women, farmers, motorcyclists popularly called ``Okada riders'' from Kuje and its environs.