From Agabus Pwanagba, Jos
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has organised training for journalists on their role in disaster management.
NEMA said the training which has a theme: “The role of the media in Disaster Management” is aimed at exposing and sharing of field experiences and chat a way forward for professional management and reporting disasters.
The training was organised by NEMA North-Central Zone, in collaboration with NUJ Plateau State Council, held in Jos, the State Capital.
In his welcome address, North Central Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Eugene Nyelong, said, “Disaster management as a continuous process of administering and coordinating prevention, preparedness, response and relief to victims is everybody’s business including our partners; the media, therefore there is need for a continuous workshop of this nature.
According to him, “The media wields such power as to tell the story as it is or otherwise thereby shaping perspectives of millions of people leading to divergent reactions.
Nyelong who was represented by the Chief Accountant of the Agency, Bintu Wana, maintained that, “This training is to expose or share field experiences and chat an informed way forward for a professional management and reportage of disasters or emergencies as the case may be.
“Therefore, there is a need for a participatory and broad-based approach in order to increase the scope of disaster management and means of communication and organisation in Nigeria and particularly on the Plateau.
“Also seen as critical is strengthening local governance by instilling those leaders with the confidence, goodwill to be effective contributors to mitigating the problems.
“However, we must acknowledge the fact that indiividual/ collaborative efforts (volunteering) is critical to community safety and development.
Participants were urge to take the training very seriously and with every sense of responsibility, so that the trust bestowed on them as community leader or volunteer must be justified.
Also speaking, chairman of Plateau Council of NUJ, Comrade Paul Jatau, said the training was apt, adding that it will equip journalists to report disaster management well.
Jatau maintained that, “I believe that this is a beginning of a partnership that would be sustained”.
Highlight of the occasion was a paper presentation on Disaster Management in Nigeria and Media Engagement.
There was also a plenary session where questions and answers were entertained by participants and resolutions made.
Participants were drawn from all chapels within the State Council of the NUJ.