By Deborah Christopher, Abuja
The Federal Government perturbed at the high rate of fire disasters in the country, organised a public awareness campaign for private, public organisations on Friday with the aim of reducing the unfortunate incidents.
The event which held in Abuja in commemoration of the 2020 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction with men of the Federal Fire Service performing simulated fire exit drill to both members of the private, public sectors.
The Minister Of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq has said this year has recorded no fewer than 20 fire incidents in private, public buildings.
Farouq said this in her speech at the commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. Themed: “Disaster Risk Governance”
She further stressed that Experience and research have shown that panic, stampede and smoke inhalation rather the burns from fire have been responsible for loss of life in the major fire disaster history.
“As a Ministry charged with the responsibility of coordinating all actions in disaster preparedness and mitigation, we are poised to continue a sustained sensitization of the general public to guide against unforeseen fire disaster”.
She emphasised that the day is marked every October by the United Nation (UN) to raise awareness, educate the public, mobilize political will, resources in ensuring disaster risk reduction globally.
“This national theme is a reflection of the Ministry’s focus on strengthening the existing strategies for disaster risk reduction and to facilitate the development of new ones where there are gaps in line with international best practices as contained in the Sendai the Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015”.
“The call for Disaster Risk Reduction was translated into action and departing from the normal rhetoric in making international days with speeches. Hence, the Ministry has organized this simulated fire exit drill which focus in raising awareness among the public and private organizations as well as mitigating the risks of fire especially in the high rising buildings”.
Sadiya noted that the purpose of the fire exit, evacuation drill is to ensure effective and efficient use of the exit facilities available in the case of emergency.
“Such drills ensure orderly exit under control and prevention of panic that has been responsible for much of the loss of life in major fire disaster”. Farouq Added.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Nura Alkali in his welcome address emphasised the importance of preventing disaster.
He added that “Workplace safety is key to the planning and disaster risk prevention and reduction. Hence all government departments and offices must ensure that the minimum safety standards are observed in all their buildings as the first line of defence against disasters. Aisles must be cleared of blockages, fire extinguishers properly placed and first aid boxes provided. Let us not lose our people through disasters that can be prevented”.