The Brong-Ahafo Regional Secretariat of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) recorded more than 100 domestic fires and 30 cases of flood from January to June.
The disasters displaced more than 3,000 people, Mr. Joseph Nyarko, Regional Coordinator of NADMO, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview after the launch of the regional platform on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Management in Sunyani on Tuesday.
The 30-member platform is chaired by Dr. Daniel Ernest Kwaku Addo Siaw, Vice Dean, Faculty of Forest Resource and Technology of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and includes representatives of security agencies, Department of Social Welfare, Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Red Cross Society.
Other members are representatives of the Regional House of Chiefs, Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, non-governmental organisations, Public Works Department, National Commission for Civic Education, Environmental Protection Agency, Country and Town Planning, Meteorological Agency and Ghana Journalists Association.
Mr. Nyarko said Nkoranza North and Nkoranza South, as well as Atebubu/Amantin and Dormaa East districts were severely affected by floods and domestic fires respectively.
He said disaster risk was increasing at an alarming rate, threatening development gains, economic stability and global security with disproportionate impacts on developing countries especially among the poor in both rural and peri-urban areas.
On the HINI influenza pandemic, Mr. Nyarko said the region had recorded 16 cases at Techiman Senior High and 12 confirmed cases at Kintampo Senior High School.
He said a regional communication team on the pandemic had been put in place to strengthen public education and plans were advanced to replicate it in all the municipalities and districts in the region.
Mr. Nyarko mentioned lack of vehicles for regional, municipal and district secretariats as the main challenge confronting NADMO “and this is making mobility very difficult for the secretariat staff to respond promptly to disasters.”
Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, the Regional Minister who inaugurated the platform, said the major incidence of disaster in Ghana was from flood, epidemics, fires, pests and diseases and conflicts.
He said in recent times these disasters had caused major disruptions in the economic and social development of the country due to the inability to cope with natural hazards created by development process.
Mr. Nyamekye Marfo said even though some natural disasters could not be prevented, in most cases with proper education and planning, the magnitude of the effects could be reduced if precautionary measures could be adhered to.
He expressed concern about indiscriminate felling of trees and poor sanitation, which had resulted in the change in rainfall pattern and bushfires as well as the outbreak of diseases respectively.
In a speech read for him, Mr. Kofi Portuphy, National Coordinator of the NADMO, explained that the launch of the regional and district platforms was in line with the Hyogo Framework for Action that advocated the establishment of platforms at all levels as a strategy for building the resilience of nations and communities to disaster.
He said in addition to the national platform, three platforms had been launched in Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions with Brong-Ahafo being the fourth one.
Mr Portuphy said it was the responsibility of the platforms to develop policies and plans to prevent, mitigate, prepare for and respond to disasters.
“The platform will play the advocacy role in the region to drive home the fact that disaster risk reduction is a regional concern as well as everybody’s business”, Mr. Portuphy added.
Among other activities, the platform would develop specific mechanisms to engage the participation and ownership of relevant stakeholders including communities in disaster risk reduction measures, he said.