Disaster management goes beyond provision of relief items – NADMO Boss

FloodingMr Kofi Portuphy, Co-coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), has said disaster management should not be seen only as the provision of disaster relief items to victims.

“It goes beyond that; it includes making sure the reduction of disaster risk through early warning mechanisms are put in place,” he said.

Mr Portuphy was addressing stakeholders at the Eastern Regional consultative workshop on the Community Resilience through Early Warning (CREW) Project in Koforidua.

He said to ensure that early warning structures were put in place to avert any possible disaster such as flooding, drought and fire the NADMO, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, had initiated the CREW Project.

The CREW Project, which is being funded by the Government of  Norway, aims among others things to identify top 10 flood and drought disaster prone Districts in the Eastern Region as well as the other regions.

It also aims at carrying out in-depth risk assessment in those areas, to assess the early warning gaps and needs and to design a scientific and indigenous based disaster Early Warning System (EWS) for those areas.

Mr Portuphy therefore urged all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to include into their development plans some early warning structures to tame any disaster in their localities.

Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, the Eastern Regional Minister, lauded the CRW Project and said it had come at the right time when illegal mining and lumbering were posing a serious threat to people.

She said due to illegal mining, flood had submerged most of the affected areas resulting in several deaths, dislocation and destruction of structures including farms, houses and businesses.

Ms Ntoso urged the stakeholders and the implementing bodies of the CREW Project to ensure maximum quality assurance towards its success.

Dr Kingsford Asamoah, Project Manager  of the CREW, said the Project was for a three-year period from 2013 to 2015 adding “it would strictly make use of both scientific and indigenous knowledge to check disasters before they occur”.

He said at the end of the workshop the relevant stakeholders would be able to identify, assess and monitor hazards and vulnerabilities in their localities through capacity building process.

“It will also develop people-centered, locally-relevant and actionable early warning and demonstrate its delivery and application for risk reduction at the community level and to equip authorities and communities with knowledge, tools, and capacities to enable them to respond timely and appropriately to warnings,” he said.

Dr Asamoah stressed that the workshop would help prepare a local risk reduction plan and implement a priority action and to as well build capacities for replication of community-based risk reduction process in other vulnerable locations in the country.

Source: GNA

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