By Godwin Agwam
Nasarawa state Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura has charged town planners in the state to fashion out ways of tackling flood disaster which led to the death of ten pupils of R.C.M Tudun Kauri Primary School in Lafia last year.
The governor stated this at a two day workshop jointly organized by Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC) in Lafia, stressing that when there is improper planning of a city/town the resultant effect could be flooding that could lead to loss of properties and lives.
Al-Makura, who was represented by Alhaji Jibril Giza, Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, charged town planners to come up with a formidable operational and decision making procedure on urban and rural management issues.
He added that, the operational and decision making procedure would possibly arise in the actualization of a sustainable human environment through appropriate physical planning strategies.
The governor also called on relevant government agencies to bring out the state standards and legislatures relating to environmental management and operations in order to live in a good and quality environment.
In his keynote address, the National President of NITP, Mr Steve Onu, stressed that more conscious efforts needed to be made to create well planned environment in order to avoid unforeseen environmental catastrophes.
Chukwu Obi, President of TOPREC said the workshop is aimed at continuous capacity building for its members and allied professionals for improved competence and practice through exposition to emerging concepts, trends and techniques in the field of urban and regional planning.
According to him, the theme of this year workshop, “Disaster Risk Management In Nigerian Rural and Urban Settlementsn,” was designed to enhance participants knowledge of basic issues in disaster risk management in reducing human suffering and economic loss caused by natural and man-made disasters.
Dr Bolanle Wahab, Chairman of the 2013 NITP/TOPREC MCPDP committee in his opening remarks said disaster risk management education and campaign is an investment and not a cost.
He urged the workshop attendees, Nigerian urban and regional planners to become actively involved in sustainable disaster management initiatives: preparedness, mitigation and risk reduction in Nigeria’s rural and urban settlements.