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AN OVERVIEW OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, RESPONSE AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF NEMA
Emergencies and Disasters are either natural or man-made. Floods, earth quakes, tornados; etc are classified as natural disasters since humans have little or no control over their occurrence. On the other hand, flood, explosions, epidemics, chemical /biological weapons, wars, land degradation, deforestation, desertification, wild land fires, loss of biodiversity, land, water and air pollution, climate change, sea level rise and ozone depletion are man – made occurrences since they are direct consequences of mans actions and inactions. Natural or man-made disasters have devastating impacts on victims and environment because victims are often times ill prepared for it. This paper tries to review the level of emergency preparedness, response and disaster management in Nigeria, as well as ascertaining the effectiveness of various policies guiding the operations of National Emergency Management Agency and other stakeholders in emergency and disaster management; by determining the sources of funding for the agencies and measuring the achievements and failures of NEMA. The researchers relied extensively on historic data (secondary sources), analysing and making inferences. Findings showed that though successes have been recorded in different areas, state and local governments are faced with funding problems, clumsy operational policies and a partial lack of acceptance of responsibility. The researchers therefore recommend that responders at any tier should see the comfort and safety of victims as paramount, a cost sharing mechanism between the various tiers should be adopted, and explicit policies that will enhance effective and purposeful training of stakeholders should be put in place by the coordinating agency (NEMA).
Keywords: Emergency Preparedness, Response, Disaster Management.