The Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, has called on Ghanaians to perceive disaster prevention as an obligation of the citizenry, and not the sole responsibility of government.
He made the call here on Wednesday during the inauguration of disaster management committees for seven assemblies.
They are Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Assembly, Ledzokuku Municipal Assembly, La Dade Kotopon Municipal Assembly, Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, Tema West Municipal Assembly, Krowor Municipal Assembly and Tema Metropolitan Assembly.
The inauguration of disaster management committees is a requirement under the new NADMO Act 2016, Act 927.
The committees are responsible for the implementation of government policy on disaster prevention, disaster risk reduction and climate risk management; their functions include preparation, coordination and update of disaster management plans.
Mr Agyemang-Prempeh said, “When disaster strikes, it affects everyone irrespective of political affiliation, ethnicity or social status, so it is important for us to do whatever we can in our own small way to prevent its occurrence.”
Mr Agyemang-Prempeh said the committees could co-opt other people into its membership, if that would help them carry out its functions successfully, and suggested that the law be amended to include traditional rulers as members.
Mr Agyemang-Prempeh said NADMO would soon distribute vehicles to support the work of the branches in the assemblies, adding that to help inculcate disaster awareness among the youth, disaster clubs have been formed in tertiary, secondary and basic schools.
Mr Agyemang-Prempeh further said his outfit was pushing for disaster management to be taught as part of the school curriculum.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, who chaired the programme, advised the committees to educate developers, so that they do not build haphazardly or engage in acts that lead to disasters.
The Greater Accra Regional Director of NADMO, Archibald Cobbinah, said there was need for all to ensure a disaster-free risk country.
The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives of the Assemblies are the chairmen of the disaster committees, whilst the resident directors of NADMO are secretaries to the committees.
Other members are the Member of Parliament, District Director of Health Services, a representative of the Garrison Commander of the Armed Forces, District Police Commander, District Director of Education, District Environmental Officer, District Planning Officer, District Social Development Officer and the Assembly Member of the area.
FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, TEMA