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Need to sensitize the public to reduce disasters – Minister

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FloodingMr Paul Evans Aidoo, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, has urged stakeholders and the Media to sensitize the public not to solely depend on disaster relief items.

He said they should rather make efforts to reduce disaster by avoiding acts that could lead to occurrences of disaster.

“Keeping our drainage clean and not building on water ways and other acts. In my opinion, this is the only way we can be saved from disasters.”

Mr Aidoo, made the call in an address read on his behalf by Ms Antoinette Opoku, an Assistant Director at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council at the Regional Stakeholders Consultative Workshop on the Community Resilience through Early Warning (CREW) Project in Sunyani.

The workshop was to formally introduce and inform regional stakeholders on the project, build partnership among key regional stakeholders by bringing them together to discuss initial baseline data collection on disasters in the region pending validation.

Others are for stakeholders to contribute to the modeling of Early Warning System (EWS) for Ghana by making recommendations and choose tentative pilot sites for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and EWS activities using scoring matrix.

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) with funding from the Government of Norway and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiated the project to identify the top 10 flood and drought disaster prone districts in Ghana.

The three-year project (2013-2015) will also undertake an in-depth risk assessment in these areas, assess the early warning gaps and needs in these hotspots and design a science-based and people centered Disaster Early Warning System (EWS) for the hotspots.

Mr Aidoo, who is also the Member of Parliament for Sefwi Wiawso, pointed out that in the quest to contain and curb natural and man-made disasters in the communities and the nation at large, new ideas should be imbibed in the citizenry to give them the high sense of responsibility.

“Both young and old should adhere to preventive measures when it comes to disaster issues,” he added.

Mr Aidoo observed that building on water ways had been the major cause of flooding in towns and villages as a result, therefore as a nation ”We need behavioural change”.

“It must be the responsibility of all and sundry to do things that will safeguard our existence because it will not be easy to reverse the situation when we allow it to get worse. The time to be cautious is now. Let us do the right things now and leave a good legacy to future generations.”

Dr Kingsford Asamoah, CREW Project Manager said, available information indicated that Ghana had experienced one degree Celsius rise in temperature over the past three decades.

He said reduction in mean annual rainfall over the past three decades around 20 per cent, rainfall variability had increased nationwide and the sea level rise was causing coastal erosion, while extreme weather events and disasters (flood and drought) had increased.

Source: GNA

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