Ghanaians urged to build resilience to disaster

Brig. Gen Francis Vib Sanziri (third from left) in chat with Mrs Christine Evans Klock  (right) ,and other officials at the ceremony (1)........Ghana yesterday celebrated its International Day for Disaster Reduction, officially marked worldwide on October 13, with the admonition that the need to build resilience and reduce vulnerability of Ghanaians has become more crucial than before.

This is  because the frequency and destructive impacts of disaster on society continues to increase, Prosper Bani, the Minister of the Interior, has said

“As a nation, we are constantly faced with the threat of several natural and human induced hazards,” he added

The Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf by Mrs. Adelaide Annor-Kumi, Chief Director , said the country experienced 2,469 fire outbreaks in the first quarter of the year, as against 2,036 cases within the same period in 2015,representing 21 .27 per cent.

The day was celebrated on the theme “Live to tell-Raising awareness, Reduce Mortality” and it marks the launch of the new “Sendai Seven” campaign by the UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2016-2030.

This year targets the first of the seven goals, which focus on reducing disaster mortality.

Mr. Bani said “we have no choice than to develop and enhance the capacities of individuals, organisations, and communities to effectively manage risks,” adding that vulnerability to disasters could only be minimised through effective disaster risk reduction.

He recalled the recent floods in Koforidua, Cape Coast and Chereponi that have claimed lives and property, assuring that the government was committed to incorporating disaster risk reduction in policy and development planning at all levels of governance.

The National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Brigadier General Francis Vib-Sanziri, said the organisation had assisted in the dredging of drains, resulting in reduction of floods.

He said NADMO had inaugurated an ultramodern emergency operating centre, to enhance effective and efficient coordination among regions and districts in times of disaster, in addition to the Flash Flood Applications, which aims at giving prior notice to rainfall patterns in Accra, hence better climate risk and early warning signals.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Christine Evans-Klock, assured that the UN would continue to support its partners in Ghana in the implementation of process of coordinated disaster prevention and response plans and in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals on social, economic and environmental developments.

The Head of Regional Bureau for Africa of the UNISDR, Amjard Abbasshar, said that  last year, West Africa experienced 500 disasters , that affected 50  million people, resulting in  35,000 deaths , with more than 70 per cent of mortality, due to epidemics, including the outbreak of Ebola.

 

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

 

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