Technical expertise is crucial in disaster risk reduction documentation

The third regional data collection workshop on the development of the second Africa Biennial Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) has ended in Dakar, Senegal with a focus on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.

Mr. Harsen Nyambe, Director of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy (SEBE) who represented the African Union Commission pointed out that data was critical in DRR and emphasized that “data is especially important to achieve the implementation of the DRR programmes, projects, and activities at the Commission.

The Africa Multi-hazard early warning and action system (AMHEWAS) programme demonstrates the need for correct and timely data, a working report made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tema stated.

He said the urban resilience programme currently being developed by the Commission was heavily dependent on the availability of data.

Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim the ECOWAS’ Head of DRR and Humanitarian Division, hailed the AU Programme of Action (PoA) on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR as a key agenda for the continent in reducing disaster risk.

He encouraged the participants to leverage their technical expertise in the process for accurate reporting and data compilation.

He cited data collection as a big challenge in DRR and stressed the need for data disaggregation.

Member States also presented their best practices, which ranged from formulation and implementation of DRR policy instruments, equipment upgrades to establishment of a multi-hazard early warning operations centre, among others.

One of the key needs identified towards strengthening data collection and harmonisation in Member States was capacity building for experts, and an uptake and analysis of geospatial information for DRR.

The Member States represented at the event were Niger, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, the Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. Other entities represented included the Africa Science and Technology Advisory Group on DRR (AfSTAG) and the Africa Youth Advisory Board on DRR.

The workshop followed two workshops organised earlier on the data collection, targeting member states of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and East African Community (EAC) in June 2022, and member states of Unione Mugreb Arab (UMA) and Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in July 2022.

The last data collection workshop will focus on Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, which is scheduled for September 2022.

The development of the biennial report is supported by the European Union through Intra-ACP 11th EDF Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, and Kingdom of Sweden through UNDP within the framework of the Sahel Resilience Project.

Mr. Abdoulaye Noba, Director General for Civil Protection, Senegal in an opening address expressed appreciation to the African Union Commission (AUC) for choosing Senegal to host the event.

Source: GNA

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