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NADMO to institute School Disaster Management Committee

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PupilsThe National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), in collaboration with stakeholders, is working out a manual on School Disaster Management Committee to address the safety of students.

The committee members’ duties include preparing disaster management plans for schools, ensuring that drills are conducted and make recommendations to the District Assembly for improvement in the built environment.

Mr Koranteng Abrokwa, Head of Training, NADMO, said this on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ forum on advancing earthquake safety of schools in Accra.

The stakeholders include Housner Fellows of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute from the United States, Ghana Earthquake Society, Architectural and Engineering Services and the Ghana Institution of Engineers.

The forum aimed to increase Ghana’s earthquake safety and resilience, introduce cost-effective enhancement to the design and construction of school buildings.

Mr Abrokwa said the manual was to ensure safe environment for school children and to provide a favourable environment for teachers as well.

He explained that the manual was in response to research conducted by NADMO in schools with support of United Nations Development Project on education on risk management for school children.

He said the findings from the research attracted the Ghana Education Service, United Nations Children’s Fund, and NADMO to draft the manual.

Mr Abrokwa said NADMO had collaborated with some institutions like the Earthquake Society to encourage the public to participate in the national simulation exercise to create awareness about preparation towards any future disaster.

He said NADMO, in collaboration with the Ghana works and housing industry had come out with a building guide to finalize the country’s building code to ensure proper building environment.

Mr Abrokwa appealed to the public to be aware of early warning of future disasters such as flood, earthquake and fire and also follow good practices in their environment.

Mr Cale Ash, Associate Principal of Degenkolb Engineers in the United States, said the forum provided opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders to understand and build the level of risk awareness in communities.

Mr Ash said the forum would collaborate with consultants who designed new schools to understand and review architectural design practices for schools, share knowledge of seismic design principles and practices and understand building code constraints.

He said the most cost-effective time to build earthquake resistance in a school is during construction, adding that it was easy to prepare for earthquakes at home by storing emergency supplies and securing tall, heavy furniture to the walls.

Source: GNA

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