ICDO Celebrates World Civil Defense Day declares commitment to reducing disaster risks

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By Uzo Ugwunze

The International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO) reaffirmed its commitment to playing its part in reducing risk of disasters and their impact throughout the world.

Secretary General, ICDO Mrs. Njoupouo Mariatou made the call on Friday during the occasion of 2024 World Civil Defense Day (WCDD) and Safe School Inauguration held at Anambra State Command Headquarters with the theme, “Honor Heroes and Promote Safety Skills”

Mariatou, represented by Anamba State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Maku Olatunde also reaffirmed ICDO’s commitment to ensuring training and technical assistance programmes tailored to the development of national civil defence systems.

She called for investment and deployment of innovative technologies to predict, prevent, prepare and respond to natural and man-made disasters.

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She said the use of technology would strengthen the coordination of civil defence structures in emergency and risks management.

She identified technologies such as drones, satellites, robots, intelligent sensors, 3D technology, geographic information systems, the Internet and Artificial Intelligence as tools that Civil Defence players could use to predict, respond and manage emergencies.

According to the Secretary General, the use of technology will also improve the safety of the public and civil defence personnel.

She regretted that the year 2023 was marked by disasters such as cataclysmic earthquakes, floods and severe unrest of socio-political origins causing massive displacement of people to other countries.

“Other emergencies such road accidents, forest fires, landslides, hurricanes, etc, are phenomena that result in deaths and economic losses and deserve attention because every death in a disaster is the death of a healthy person.

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“Civil defence players were active on all fronts to save lives, alleviate suffering and restore living conditions of affected persons.

“ICDO is inviting key players in civil defence to invest more in the development and integration of innovative technologies in all phases of disaster risk management, whether they be natural or man-made,” she said.

Also speaking, Safe School Coordinator, NSCDC, Mrs Ngozi Okoye said the inauguration of the Safe School project was to protect students and secure school environments.

‘Attacks on our schools today and mass kidnapping of school children have presented a serious threat to Nigeria educational system and which Anambra state is not an exception.

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“This project seeks to reduce the risk of school learning interruption by criminal elements, secure schools’ learners, teachers and host communities to guarantee seamless learning process in Nigeria,” she said.

Highlights of the event included inauguration of Safe School Project, presentation of 19 New Recruits, Silent Drills by NSCDC Special Female Squad, Stripling and Assembling of Rifle, among other activities.

World Civil Defense Day is marked every March 1, to increase awareness about the importance of civil protection and emergency preparedness at both national and international levels.

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