Stakeholders call for increase investment in disaster risks reduction

Stakeholders at a day’s meeting on Disaster Risks Reduction have advocated increased investment in disaster risks prevention mechanism to build a sustainable resilience community.

They said it is better to prevent disasters than wait for it to happen before going to look for funds to mitigate the destruction to properties and livelihoods.

Mr Samuel Gmalu, Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs/Security Manager, World Vision, speaking at the programme organised by the Presbyterian Relief Services and Development (PRS&D) to engage stakeholders on Disaster Risks Reduction (DRR), urged both the government and the private sector to focus more on disaster preparedness through educating the public.

He urged the government to allocate the needed resources, including finance and logistics, at all levels of administration for the development and the implementation of DRR strategies, policies, plans, laws and regulations in all relevant sectors.  
The PRS&D is an agency of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) under the Department of Development and Social Services.

The organisation was registered as a non-profit agency through which the church promotes activities such as health; education assist rural communities in leadership development; disaster preparedness and management; empowerment of women and youth in achieving sustainable income, among others.

Mr Gmalu said it is very important to identify the disaster risks and put in place appropriate mechanisms to prevent it, adding, “if we do not identify our disaster risks, we will be going through cycles of disasters every year.”

He said to achieve effectiveness in disaster resilience, there was the need to equip the local level agencies; train officers to stand up for the task and a systematic evaluation and sharing of information among all stakeholders.

Mr Gmalu also called for mainstreaming and integrating DRR within and across all sectors; reviewing and promoting the coherence and further development, as appropriate of national and local frameworks of laws, regulations and public policies.

“We need to adopt and implement national and local DRR strategies and plans across different timescale, with targets indicators and timeframe, aimed at preventing the creation of risks, the reduction of existing risks and strengthening of economic, social, health and environmental resilience.”

“Training is very important in disaster preparedness but unfortunately for us, whenever there is a change in government all the public officers you trained have to go home for new ones to come and take over, only for the CSOs to start training these new people again,” he said.

Mr Ebenezer Okoampa, Disaster Management Consultant, said in disaster response, timeliness, appropriateness and effectiveness were the drivers and stressed the need for individuals and communities to start their own monitoring to find out what is happening around them for quick solutions.

Reverend Daniel Edmund Asante, Director, Development and Social Services, said Ghana was exposed to risks of multiple weather related hazards, particularly droughts and floods risks.

He said from 1991 to 2011, Ghana had experienced seven major floods…in 2010 floods in the White Volta basin affected hundreds of lives, destroying their properties and livelihoods, with the last major disaster occurring in 2015.

He said the stakeholders’ engagement was to fashion out lasting solutions to disaster challenges of the country to reduce occurrence of disasters to the barest minimum in the country. GNA

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