National Disaster Fund Soon

kofi portuphyA NATIONAL Disaster Fund is to be established next year to provide dedicated and readily available resources for disaster response and management in the country.

Mr. Kofi Portuphy, National Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), announced this, on Saturday at the opening of a two-day sensitisation workshop for the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and the Interior.

He said the fund, which would be a dedicated one outside the national budget, would empower the institution to provide speedy emergency response to disaster related issues at the national, regional and districts levels.

The Disaster Fund would be structured along similar lines the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND).

The workshop was to sensitise the Members of Parliament to the proposed National Disaster Management Service Bill currently before parliament.

The bill seeks to replace the current NADMO Act, Act 517 of 1996 and is aimed at enhancing the legal, financial and institutional capacities of NADMO for efficient delivery of its mandate.

Mr. Portuphy spoke of the numerous financial challenges facing NADMO as an institution, and observed that the National Disaster Fund, as captured in the proposed bill when passed latest by end of next March, would help address those challenges.

According to him, the bill had been drafted to conform to current trends in disaster management and best practices worldwide, in managing emergencies in modern Ghana.

Mr. Mark Owen Woyongo, the Minister of the Interior, in a speech read on his behalf said, Cabinet had already approved the proposed bill and appealed to the Select Committee members to promote the bill among their colleague MPs to ensure its smooth passage.

He was optimistic that the bill, when passed into law, would make the country more resilient, and reiterated government’s commitment to provide the necessary support to the committee to facilitate modern trends in disaster management in the country.

Mr. Woyongo noted that the active participation of parliamentarians in disaster management, was crucial for improving the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction.

Parliamentarians, he said, could assess risk factors in their constituencies and monitor compliance to establish standards and enact laws to prevent man-made disasters.

Mr. Woyongo therefore urged the parliamentarians to keep the constituents abreast with important disaster risk information to mitigate the effects of disasters.

Mr. Seth Kwame Acheampong, MP for Mpraeso Constituency in the Eastern Region and Ranking Member of the committee, pledged members support to ensuring the passage of the bill to enable NADMO to work more effectively.

From Joseph Edu
Archison, Sogakofe

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