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BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
THE NEED FOR A DISASTER MANAGEMENT CENTRE
Disaster means a progressive or sudden, widespread or localised, natural or human caused occurrence which causes or threatens to cause; Death, injury or disease, Damage to property, infrastructure or the environment, Disruption of the life of a community; and is of the magnitude that exceeds the ability of those affected by the disaster to cope with its effect using only their own resources. A disaster management centre is needed to:
To implement an integrated and coordinate disaster management policy that focuses on preventing or reducing the risk disasters, mitigating the severity of disasters, emergency preparedness, rapid and effective response to disasters and post disaster recovery.
To prepare the document that will identify risks, assess risks, risk response development and risk response control.
The purpose of centre is to outline policy and procedures for both proactive disaster prevention and the re-active disaster response and mitigation phases.
The disaster management centre functions are as follows:
Must specialise in issues concerning disasters within Rivers State.
Act as a repository and conduit for information concerning disasters.
Must perform it functions and exercise powers as stipulated section 44 of the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002.
Must liaise and co-ordinate its activities with those of National, State Management centres.
1.2 STATEMENT OF ARCHITECTURAL PROBLEMS
Architecture is an abstraction from nature and intuition with possibilities of aesthetic accompaniments for overall ambient satisfaction (Fashuyi, 2004). Nevertheless, this ideological perception must graft with sensitive issues bordering on culture, economy before Architecture can become acceptable in its right values. However, Architectural Education in Nigeria as presently structured is not responsive to her socio-economic environment. In fact, it is more suited to problems of urban environment of prosperous economies having nothing in common with the cultural and economic features of the country (Adesina, 1987). Architectural Education in Nigeria was inherited from the Beaux-Art concept of Western educational philosophy through the colonial mentors. This tendency is to provide aesthetically satisfying buildings, irrespective of function.
The design of the Disaster Management Centre will take into cognisance proper functional relationship between each section of the building to another; the site is located at an area that can be easily accessible from various parts of the state, helicopters are also available to ease rescue in parts of the states that cannot be easily assessable by land, the structure is responsive to the socio-economic environment in the state, the structure is aesthetically satisfying, the structure conforms to the building codes and zoning.
Therefore architectural problems of the Disaster Management Centre Are as follows:
The integration of architectural purpose, site, suitable spaces, technical systems and materials.
Inadequate ventilation and natural lightening
Primary and secondary circulation in and around the site.
Disaster Management is an enormous task. Disasters are not confined to any particular location; neither do they disappear as quickly as they appear. Therefore, it is imperative that there is proper management to optimize efficiency of planning and response. Due to limited resources, collaborative efforts at the governmental, private and community levels are necessary. This level of collaboration requires a coordinated and organized effort to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and their effects in the shortest possible time.
The motivation of this project steams from:
The absolute necessity for such a project: Over the years, lives have been lost in natural and man-made disaster primarily due to absence of a disaster management centre or slow response of rescue team.
The wealth of knowledge, which the project adds to existing information on architectural building types.
The sense of comfort and security inspired by the project, being from the riverine area in the Niger Delta region where the terrain is difficult and inter-city transport is mostly done by boat, the potential for boat mishaps is rather high.
To reduce subsequent insurance claims and compensation on government and insurance companies.
The passion to create an avenue that will aid for relief to all disaster victims.
To create awareness for the need of disaster management.
To provide a facility that will improve response to disasters for an initial period after which other sources would assist.
To reduce confusion on the part of all personnel concern in disasters.
To enhance the role of rapid deployment of its personnel in response to emergency
Preventing or reducing the risk of disasters and mitigating the severity or consequences of disasters
A rapid and effective response to disasters and post- disaster recovery and rehabilitation.
To ensure the survival of the maximum possible number of victims, keeping them in the best possible health in the circumstances.
To re-establish self-sufficiency and essential services as quickly as possible for all population groups, with special attention to those whose needs are greatest: the most vulnerable and underprivileged.
To repair or replace damaged infrastructure and regenerate viable economic activities. To do this in a manner that contributes to long-term development goals and reduces vulnerability to any future recurrence of potentially damaging hazards.
In cases involving population displacements (due to any type of disaster) the aim is to find durable solutions as quickly as possible, while ensuring protection and assistance as necessary in the meantime.
To create a building for imparting training in disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, relief and rehabilitation and also to undertake research studies, documentation and development of database.
Organize state and regional level conferences/workshops in disaster management and related subjects.
To develop and encourage NGO's network in the state to manage disasters in the state.
To reduce or avoid the human, physical, and economic losses suffered by individuals, by the society, and by the country at large.
To reduce personal suffering and to speed recovery.
1.10 SCOPE OF PROJECT:
This project provides, to a satisfactory level, all the facilities that are needed in the disaster management centre for optimum performance to manage disaster. There are provisions for effective control, relief and rescue of disasters by mitigating, preparedness, response and recovery.
The scope of the project is limited to the following;
The design of the Administrative building
A staff residential building
Hanger for helicopter
1.10.1 THE SITE:
This project involves the design of a Centre that aids for Disaster Management, thus, due to the amphibiotic nature of its function, the facility would require a site that enhances the marine and land base operation, and hence, it is located within the southern section of Port Harcourt. It can also be accessible through various pedestrian routes emanating from the neighbouring residential zones. This will be dutifully respected in the cause of designing.
The site is in close proximity to the State secretariat, the Nigerian marine base, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, Orobum Vimmage (now called Obunabali). Ogbunabali bound the site on the East, the far North by Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, to the West by the Amadi flat and old GRA Residential Quarters and the South by Marine Base.
The exterior element in the site include Parking lots,Sign post,Main building,Clinic,Heliport,Staff Accommodation,Power plant.
1.10.2 THE MAIN BUILDING: The sections in the Disaster Management Centre include:
The Aviation operation
The Marine operation
The land operation
Relief and rehabilitation unit
Search and rescues unit.
The Administrative unit:
This is the first point of call as one gets into the building, this department is responsible for all staff matters, appointments, records of service, welfare of officers, employment etc. This section is responsible for personnel functions and employee services, Personnel functions cover tracking staff and disaster deployments, obtaining local hires, arranging billeting, and processing payroll while Employee services include providing for personnel health and safety, overseeing access to medical services, and ensuring security of personnel, facilities, and assets.
This is one of the most important units in the centre, it takes care of all emergency calls and make sure they are transmitted as clearly and as fast as possible to the squad responsible for that particular disaster. The unit will have communication gadgets such as pager systems, walking talkie, phones, radars, satellites, reception systems global positioning system (G.P.S), to guide the development of a comprehensive information and communication system and establish integrated communication links with all disaster risk management role players.
This unit has two major tasks: the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of information about disaster operations to support planning and decision making in the field and at the headquarters’ levels; and the coordination of short- and long-term planning in the field.
The Training unit:
This unit will be responsible for the training of the rescue squads and will feature necessary fitness facilities. It is also a unit that aids to promote a culture of risk avoidance among people by capacitating role players through integrated education, training and public awareness programmes informed by scientific research.
The department of training develops the curriculum and coordinate the human resources development of the agency in addition to catering for the training needs of the staff on modern skills which qualify them to be good disaster managers as obtain in other part of the world.
The Maintenance Unit:
This unit takes care of all repairs and daily/weekly check of all the vehicles used for search and rescue operations. The automobile workshop, electrical workshop, vulcanizing workshop, tailor workshop, spare parts store etc. are all part of the maintenance department.
The Aviation Operations:
This section takes care of disasters not easily assessable by land; it involves the use of helicopters necessary for rapid response to disasters that occurred in difficult or far terrain.
The Marine Operations:
This unit takes care of offshore disasters such as boat mishap.
The Land Operations:
This unit will take care of out-breaks and other land accidents where necessary. It will involve provision of parking lots for ambulances; fire fighting vehicles, motor bikes, personnel carries etc.
The Finance Unit:
This section plans, organizes, and directs logistics operations that include control and accountability for supplies and equipment; resource ordering; delivery of supplies, equipment, resource tracking, facility location, setup, space management, building services, general facility operations, Transport coordination and fleet management services, and salary of staff.
The Relief and Rehabilitation Unit:
This unit provides leadership to build, sustain, and improve the coordination and delivery of support and relief to citizens and State, local, tribal and territorial governments to save lives, reduce suffering, protect property and recover from all hazards. These units also receive the materials for relief and properly distribute it to affected people.
1.6.3 THE CLINIC:
Time is a crucial element in Disaster Management. In recognition of this, the agency will have a clinic that will aid in first aid treatment of victims, and also, there will be ambulances that will convey seriously injured people to bigger hospitals and also convey the dead to the mortuary.
THE STAFF ACCOMMODATION:
Accommodation will be provided for resident staff of the organization and also for resident doctors that will handle the clinic and all medical affairs.
1.7 PROJECT JUSTIFICATION
The project is located within the southern section of Port Harcourt. The site is in close proximity to the State secretariat, the Nigerian marine base, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout; Orobum Vimmage (now called Obunabali). Ogbunabali bound the site on the East, the far North by Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, to the West by the Amadi flat and old GRA Residential Quarters and the South by Marine Base.
This site was chosen for the following reasons:
It can be assessable through the Eastern bypass road and various pedestrian routes emanating from the neighbouring residential zones
No existing facility defined for this purpose within the area.
The area is very busy and prone to disasters like accidents.
The site can be assessable from land and water.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Disaster: this is an event, natural or man-made, sudden or progressive, which impacts with such severity that the affected community or individual has to respond by taking exceptional measures.
Disaster management: is the systematic observation and analysis of disasters to improve measures relating to prevention, mitigation, preparedness, emergency response and recovery.
Disaster management centre: this will serve as a centre for the operational squad and aid for investigation, assistance and relief of people affected with disasters.
Risk: is the relative degree of probability that a hazardous event will occur. An active fault zone, for example, would be an area of high risk.
Mitigation: is action taken to reduce both human suffering and property loss resulting from extreme natural phenomena. Measures include land use planning, improved disaster-resistant building techniques, and better agricultural practices.
Preparedness: encompasses those actions taken to limit the impact of natural phenomena by structuring response and establishing a mechanism for effecting a quick and orderly reaction. Preparedness activities could include pre-positioning supplies and equipment; developing emergency action plans, manuals, and procedures; developing warning, evacuation, and sheltering plans; strengthening or otherwise protecting critical facilities; etc
Disaster Prevention: this is action taken to eliminate or avoid harmful natural phenomena and their effects. Examples of prevention include cloud seeding to control meteorological patterns, pest control to prevent locust swarms, erection of dams or levees to prevent flooding, etc.
Intervention: this refers to an action taken in order to change the course of events. In disaster management the term's use is similar to the medical sense, i.e., disaster response initiated from outside the affected community is a form of intervention and, as such, must be handled with care because it does come from without. It therefore always runs the risk of being more disruptive than productive.
Pre-disaster planning: this is the process of preparing, in advance, to meet a future disaster. Pre-disaster planning consists of disaster prevention, mitigation, and preparedness.
Vulnerability: this is a condition wherein human settlements, buildings, agriculture, or human health are exposed to a disaster by virtue of their construction or proximity to hazardous terrain.
Maintenance: refers to the services that are provided to refugees during the period after the emergency but before a permanent solution to their plight is developed. Maintenance operations may include tracing and family reunification, general care and food distribution, a variety of social services such as education and cultural activities, and efforts to help the people to become as self-sufficient as possible under the circumstances.
Evaluation occurs as a refugee operation ends or as a new phase begins. Evaluation should be carried out by every manager and key members of the staff. The results and lessons learned should become the basis for further emergency preparedness activities.
Durable (Permanent) Solution is the term used to describe collectively the three long-term solutions that resolve a refugee situation-voluntary repatriation, assimilation, and resettlement to a third country. In this phase, any number of activities can take place including transportation of the refugees, legal assistance, and provision of financial and material aid to the refugees to help them start their new lives. If the solution is repatriation or assimilation, the Patterns of assistance often resemble reconstruction and development assistance given to the victims of natural disasters.
Essential goods and services: this means those products, items, expertise or manufacturers, which are considered of importance or are indispensable when responding to a disaster.
Hazard: means threats to life, well-being, material goods or the environment.
Head of centre means the person appointed in terms of either section 45 of the Act.
Local disaster means a disaster classified as a local disaster in terms of section 23.
Primary role means that function for which a specific identified role player is best equipped and qualified to perform.
Recovery means decisions and actions taken after a disaster with a view to restoring or improving the pre-disaster living conditions of the stricken community, while encouraging and facilitating necessary adjustments to reduce disaster risk.
Relief means the provision of assistance or intervention during or immediately after a disaster in order bring relief to people and communities affected by a disaster.
Risk reduction means measures taken to reduce long-term risks associated with human activity or natural events.
Role player means an individual or group in society that can contribute meaningfully to the implementation of disaster management.
Secondary role means an additional function that is performed by an identified role player in support of a primary role player.
Emergency: “Is a situation generated by the real or imminent occurrence of an event that requires immediate attention” (key words). Paying immediate attention to an event or situation as described above is important as the event/situation can generate negative consequences and escalate into an emergency. The purpose of planning is to minimize those consequences.
Assistance: to help support affected persons with relief materials and make sure it is properly distributed amongst the people.
1.9 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The research process for this project was tedious as it was interesting. The research methods used in this project is a descriptive research that employs survey or observational research method. Typically, the following methods where used for the research:
The use of the library Site visits
Books and foreign data review
Interview and questionnaires
Consultation with my supervisor.
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