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NEMA Partners NYSC, Trains Community Emergency Management Vanguards

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AS part of efforts aimed at managing disaster in communities, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has trained 300 serving members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Abia and Imo States as Emergency Management Vanguards (EMV).

The two-day training was basically on proactive disaster management by the agency.

The Coordinator of NEMA, Owerri Operations Office, Dr. Innocent Ezeaku told The Guardian that the aim of the training was to use the NYSC members ‎as vanguards for uniform proactive disaster management nationwide, especially at the grassroots.

He added that the programme was also designed to offer youths opportunity to provide their services in an organised, prompt and responsive ways to disaster incidents during their one-year service in view of the fact that the largest segments of Nigerians live in rural areas.

“In these rural areas, where essential services are often not available for prompt response to disaster, it became imperative that steps be taken to devise and ‎build local response capacity in order to ensure that there is a traditional early warning system and response mechanism to disaster situations,” he explained.

Ezeaku noted that the training was conducted simultaneously in the two states’ NYSC Orientation Camps with resource persons drawn from State Emergency Management Agency, Nigerian Red Cross Society and State Fire Service, adding that the present collaboration with NYSC is one of NEMA’s efforts to broaden the participation of other stakeholders towards disaster curtailment, particularly in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

“This partnership gave rise to the formal signing of Memorandum of Understanding between NYSC and NEMA on the formation of NEMA/NYSC Emergency Management Vanguard Community Development Services (CDS) group.

“The NEMA /NYSC project is intended not only to reduce disaster risk at the grassroots, but also to give Emergency Management Vanguards (EMVs) a platform to enter the communities and work with the people in a more formal and collaborative manner.”

According to Ezeaku, the major target of the EMV is to reach out to schools, communities, motor parks, churches and markets in order to propagate the message of Disaster Management, adding that membership of EMV is open to all genuine members of the NYSC that enthusiastically offer their skills to promote disaster management principles.

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