By Salisu Sani-Idris
The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has urged volunteers and residents to be conscious of risk behaviours that may result to fire outbreak in homes and other public places.
The Director-General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, made the call at the 2022 International Volunteer Day (IVD) celebration on Tuesday in Abuja. This year’s theme of IVD is: “Solidarity through volunteering”.
Idriss called on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Abuja Markets Management and other relevant stakeholders to scale up their level of sensitisation to reduce fire risk among residents.
According to him, fire risk among residents is mostly driven by ignorance or negligent attitude.
Idriss emphasised the need for individuals and organisations that yet to imbibe the spirit of volunteerism to do so, saying “the more we act together in little ways, the more we touch many lives and build better communities.’’
“At this time of the year, when the weather is cold and windy, the use of heating appliances, especially water heaters in homes and offices often end in bad testimonies for those who forget to turn off such appliances when there is power outage.
“Also bush burning is another issue of serious concern because of the fire that sometimes escalate into markets and power facilities, causing serious losses.
“This is the time to be more careful and be on guard to avoid bitter incidents such as this and it is a collective responsibility,” Idriss said.
He acknowledged the great contribution of FEMA volunteers across the six area councils of the territory, that have been driving the agency’s disaster risk reduction programmes in their communities.
“Take for instance, the issue of flood in the FCT. I cannot praise the efforts of our stakeholders at ensuring that no life was lost to flood in 2022,” he said.
The director-general thanked the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello and the FCT Permanent Secretary for their support to programmes of the agency.
Earlier, Mr Agodi Emmanuel, the Head of Department, Nigeria National Volunteer Service, Office of the SGF, said that the Federal Government was working assiduously to encourage the spirit of volunteerism in the country.
Emmanuel disclosed that the Federal Government had developed a National Policy on Volunteerism and was working towards setting up of a National Volunteer Database.
The Director, Relief and Rehabilitation of FEMA, Muhammad Abdulrahaman, said that the agency had over 300 registered volunteers across the six area councils and it was still registering more.
According to him, the volunteers have been trained in various life-saving areas such as first aid for accident victims, fire outbreak prevention, personal and environmental hygiene among others.
Malam Bashir Aboh, the Head of Operation, Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation reiterated the commitment of the foundation towards promoting the spirit of volunteerism in the country.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards to three outstanding volunteers in recognition of their community service to humanity (NAN)