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FG to start campaign on disaster risk awareness – Minister

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The federal government has disclosed that it would start a disaster risk information awareness to inform the public on the consequences of illegal oil bunkering.

This was contained in a statement issued Friday in Abuja by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Ms. Nneka Anibeze.

It indicated that this was made known when a federal government delegation visited Imo state to commiserate with the government on the explosion, which occurred at Abaezi forest, Ohaji Egbema local government area.

The statement further indicated that the minister, Hajiya Umar-Farouq, was represented by the Director, Reliefs and Rehabilitation in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Alhassan Nuhu.

She called on traditional rulers, religious heads and community leaders to advocate against illicit bunkering of oil in the communities.

“Our visit today is to condole with the good people of Imo and also access the extent of the disaster to ascertain the volume of relief to be provided for the victims for the purpose of assisting them to build back better.

“We shall provide the necessary disaster risk information and assessments as well as implement risk strategies to create awareness on the consequences of illegal crude oil refining to the local communities.

“I implore community leaders, traditional and religious leaders, women and youth groups to join hands with NEMA to serve as watchdogs and continuously advocate the safe use of refinery facilities in their communities,” she said.

Umar-Farouq said this was to protect lives, property and the environment, adding that it was obvious that disaster risk management was first a local and collective endeavour before it became national.

“We also call on security agencies to collaborate with the regulatory bodies in the oil and gas sector to nip this ugly trend in the bud.”

Earlier, the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr. Princess Ibrahim, said most of the people who lost their lives in the explosion were farmers and hunters.

(NAN)