The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is establishing a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Club in the Junior Secondary School (JSS), Apo in Abuja to minimise fire disasters in students’ homes or school.
Mr Justin Uwazuruonye, the Head, NEMA Abuja Operation Office, disclosed this at a one-day Fire Sensitisation and Mitigation organised for students of JSS Apo on Tuesday.
Uwazuruonye, who was represented by Mrs Chinwe Opara, the Head of Administration, NEMA Abuja Operation Office, said the sensitisation to JSS Apo was one of many to schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said that the sensitisation was to encourage volunteerism in children and youths.
He said that it would also help to catch the students young by training and teaching them the strategies of fire prevention.
“The essence of establishing the club is to equip the students with requisite knowledge on how to manage disaster anywhere.
“Many schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) now have disaster risk reduction clubs aimed at educating the students on fire preventive measures.
“Every now and then, we are faced with incidences of fire outbreak either in our offices or homes which are greatly avoidable.
“It is a known fact that millions of lives and property worth billions of naira have been destroyed by fire, thus rendering many Nigerians homeless, miserable and deformed.
“The trend is becoming worrisome, especially when viewed against the dwindling economy of the nation. This goes to portray that most individuals lack basic knowledge of fire prevention measures.
“It is a known fact that one of the most vulnerable groups in any disaster is the children, and ignorance leads most to loss of lives and property,” he said.
Uwazuruonye said that NEMA had observed with dismay the incessant fire disaster occurring all over the country, adding that these problems brought about the visitation to schools within the territory.
“Consequently, we have started an enlightenment campaigns for our school children aimed at educating them on preventive/mitigation measures as the agency has a key role to play in sensitisation and creation of awareness amongst the citizenry.
“This, we believe will go a long way in helping to reduce disaster since knowledge empowers people,” the NEMA chief added.
The Principal of the school, Mr Sheidu Akebe commended the management of NEMA and FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the opportunity showcased to the school to know more about fire disasters and ways of managing them.
Akebe said that the school had never witnessed any incidence of fire outbreak, adding that however the knowledge would further make the school be prepared for any form of emergency.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that officials of the FCT Fire Service, who are critical stakeholders in NEMA, took turns to display the practical prevention of fire disasters to the students. (NAN)