Port Harcourt - The National Emergency Management
Agency (NEMA) says that poor waste management constitutes a threat to
human lives, property and developmental gains.
Emenike Umesie, the South-South Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, said
this in Port Harcourt on Tuesday at a public sensitisation workshop.
He also underscored the need to initiate proactive measures to mitigate flood disasters in the country.
Umesi stressed that flooding was on the increase across the country,
adding that there was, therefore, a compelling need to adequately
prepare for predicted rainfall patterns and possible flooding.
He said that proper waste management procedures should be part of
mitigation efforts aimed at reducing the level of impact of predicted
"Measures must be put in place for proper solid or liquid waste
management in the camps set up for Internally Displaced Persons
(IDPs)," he said.
Umesi noted that deaths caused by disasters were on the decline in
developed countries, while people in developing countries, including
Nigeria, were becoming more vulnerable to disasters.
He noted that disaster-related deaths accounted for about 95 per cent of all deaths in developing countries of the world.
"Countries that invest in disaster prevention and mitigation reap
the rich benefits of resilience, while recording low mortality from
"Because of the persistent high level of vulnerability resulting
from poor waste management, post-disaster relief intervention continues
to be the most prominent issue in disaster management," he said.
Umesi said that lack of functional emergency management agencies in
local government councils and states remained an obstacle to the
realisation of the Federal Government's agenda for disaster risks
In his contribution, Dr Kanu Chukwunenye of the University of Port
Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) advised Nigerians to promote safe
He said that the people’s collective efforts were required to
safeguard public health, stressing that the future of the unborn
generations should not be compromised.
Besides, Chukwunenye said that climate change had seriously affected the environment.
He, however, said that the primary life-saving measures put in place
in IDPs camps should include proper waste disposal systems and potable
"Waste products must be properly handled in emergency situations to reduce mortality," he said.