The Honorable Minister, Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and innovation, FMSTI, Senator Dr. Adeleke Mamora has stated that space science and technology remains the most suitable solution for early flood detection and response in the country.
Senator Mamora made this statement at the opening ceremony of a workshop on the use of space-based information to mitigate and promptly respond to flood disaster for early warning organized by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and the United Nations office for Outer Space Affairs through its United Nations platform for space-based information for Disaster Management held in Abuja.
According to him, the importance of emergency responses using space science and technology cannot be over emphasized hence, the need for effective collaboration between NASRDA and relevant stakeholders in mapping out strategies that can mitigate the devastating effects of natural disasters and flooding.
He further added that in modern societies, predictions are done using space science and technology because of its ability to provide real time data that can shape effective policy formulation and implementation for the betterment of the society.
The Honorable Minister who described space science and technology as an integral part of science, technology and innovation commended the efforts of NASRDA in mobilizing relevant stakeholders and ensuring prompt delivery of adequate space-based information especially as it relates to flood response and early warning that can be used by policy.
 He therefore reiterated the ministry’s support to the activities of NASRDA which according to him, should translate in the mobilization of both human and material resources drawn from the public and private sectors in line with international best practice.
The Honourable Minister charged the Chief Executives of NASRDA and its other agencies to work by forming strategic working groups which must periodically interface and come up with ideas that are geared towards ensuring effective disaster control and management using space-based capabilities.
Senator Mamora also commended the force of the United Nations Organization through its 2006 charter that led to the formation of the UN-SPIDER program, which in his opinion, continues to greatly contribute towards resolving issues of flood disaster that ha e continued to pose as threat and challenge to most emerging societies.
In his welcome address, the Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr. Halilu Ahmad Shaba expressed satisfaction with the participants drawn from the Space Community, disaster management practice, the international community and other relevant and key stakeholders.
He said the goal is to create awareness on recent technological breakthroughs in the use of space science and technology for disaster management, emergency operation centres and decision support systems deployed by large disasters, particularly floods.
According to him, natural and human induced disasters have continued to claim lives and properties in different parts of the world hence, the need to reverse the trend through better information about the risk and onset of disasters, improved risk assessment, early warning and disaster monitoring.
Dr. Shaba who enumerated the objectives of the workshop said space-based technologies contribute to all phases of disaster management cycle, Including prevention, preparedness, early warning, response and construction which necessitated the hosting of the Regional Support Office in Nigeria for the UN-SPIDER program.
The NASRDA boss explained that the Agency through technical advisory missions as well as institutional strengthening missions to several African countries with the aim of promoting the use of space technologies and space based information in disaster risk, preparedness, response and recovery activities has continued to provide space-based solutions in disaster management and emergency response by providing data and information, technical advisory, expertise in Geographic Information System and Remote-Sensing, amongst other products and services both at the local and international level.
In the area of ensuring effective synergy with relevant stakeholders, Dr. Shaba stated that NASRDA has built synergy with The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) particularly in the deployment of space technology applications to disaster management and emergency response by supporting NEMA with data of flooded areas, for effective decision making and implementation.
He added that the Agency is also collaborating with the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) on its annual flood outlook by providing feedback on the flood outlook as well as the partnerships with several domestic and international organizations.
Also speaking at the event, the head, UN-SPIDER Bonn Office, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Mr. Juan Carlos Villagram de Leon applauded NASRDA for its strategic role in the UN-SPIDER Program, saying the space revolution has started to impact the globe hence, the need for Africa and other trans-saharan countries to use space-based data for effective policy formulation and implementation.
Mr. Villagram said effective management of flood is usually difficult without the deployment of space capabilities which informs the need for NASRDA partnership with relevant organizations in managing and controlling flood related disasters.
He noted that the UN-SPIDER program targets end-users and decision makers of the disaster management communities, as well as representatives of the Space community with the aim of raising awareness amongst stakeholders on the potentials in space technology applications in all phases of disaster management.
According to him, UN-SPIDER program offers to UN member states by support for its work and bringing together the disaster management and space communities all over the world to discuss needs and space-based solutions.
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and the committee on the peaceful uses of outer space and its two sub- committees; the scientific and technical sub-committee as well as the legal sub-committee.
 The office is responsible for promoting international cooperation and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology.
UN-SPIDER is the first program of its kind to focus on the need to ensure access to and use of space-based solutions during all phases of the disaster management cycle, including risk reduction phase which will significantly contribute to reduction in loss of lives and property.
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