Disaster occurs almost every day and managing these disasters when they occur has been very challenging. Africa is one of the regions most affected by man-made and natural disasters and with the least capacity to cope with disaster management. This paper examines the challenges of disaster management and how to strengthen capacity building of stakeholders particularly the local communities to be better prepared for disasters when they occur. Literature review and documentary survey of relevant literature with focus on capacity building in disaster management in Taraba State was adopted in this study. The paper observed that although Taraba State had experienced various degrees of disasters over the years, Flooding, road accidents and fire outbreaks are the most common disaster incidents in the area. The paper also revealed that the State has weak capacity to respond adequately to disaster incidence. Some of the challenges of disaster management in the state include; lack of skilled personnel in the various aspects of disaster management, inadequate coordination among the various stakeholders, poor funding, lack of vehicles and ambulances to facilitate the movement of disaster management personnel, inadequate dissemination and sharing of information among stakeholders, non existence of disaster management structure at the local level and politicization of the disaster management system in the State. The paper recommends the development of effective disaster management and rescue infrastructure, synergize and networking between NEMA/SEMA and relevant stakeholders, enhance public enlightenment, advocacy and sensitization of communities on emergency preparedness and response at the grassroot and change in our personal and institutional attitudes and behaviours towards disaster preparedness, response and mitigation.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN