Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister for the Interior, has advocated for Disaster Risks Reduction (DRR) capacity building at the local levels to achieve results.
He said: “We need to accept the fact that all disasters occur at the local level hence that is where capacities need to be strengthened.”
Mr. Dery said this in a speech read on his behalf at an exhibition programme organised by NADMO to mark this year’s celebration of International Day for Disaster Risks Reduction IDRR in Accra.
This year’s celebration is on the theme, “Early Warning: Early Action” and has drawn stakeholders within the Greater Accra Region including DRR Social Clubs from selected Senior High Schools.
The Minister said the theme for the celebration was appropriate and needed to be made relevant in all communities.
He called on all collaborators and relevant state institutions to help mobilise the needed expertise and resources to enhance capacity at the local level.
That capacity, he said, could just be by way of accurate and timely climate information to the people.
“I also think that we need to get the right technology that can help us disseminate information as and when needed as part of the capacity enhancement.
“l want to appeal to all stakeholders that beyond today’s celebration, there should be further sessions like this one, to discuss the institutional arrangement gaps that are not making it possible for us to harmonize our efforts and resources,” he said.
The annual celebration of IDRR Day comes along with different themes. This year’s celebration is focusing on the target G of the Sendai Framework which is to “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.”
In line with this year’s focus, the theme has been rephrased to read “Early Warning for All’ in some jurisdictions just for the purpose of observing the day.
In spite of the differences in the contextual themes, they all recognise the fact that there is an urgent need for countries to intensify efforts to protect lives, livelihoods, economies, and basic infrastructure on Earth, as was announced by UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in March this year.
Mr. Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, the Director-General of NADMO, said Disaster Risk Management requires an integrated approach where several elements such as preparedness, response, recovery, reconstruction and risk transfer become interdependent.
“Each of these elements is very important to the extent that isolation of one will lead to incomplete efforts.
“In recognition of this, NADMO operates based on six disaster risk management pillars namely, disaster risk knowledge among the population; prevention and mitigation; adaptation; trust for officialdom; compliance; gender sensitivity, and mainstreaming.”
He said in view of those pillars, they believed that the national theme ”Early Warning: Early Action for the IDRR Day” celebration was provoking a new awakening for disaster risk reduction activities in Ghana.
Mr Agyemang-Prempeh said early warning systems are very critical for increasing resilience and for NADMO’s operation pillar of enhancing disaster risk knowledge among citizens and called for collaboration among actors to intensify efforts in that direction.
He said NADMO, over the years, has partnered with other donors and institutions to pilot early warning systems such as flood alert and community information systems in certain parts of the country.
“We believe others are also doing similar early warning projects elsewhere in the country and all that is needed beyond this forum is to try and harmonise our efforts to eliminate duplication. A lot more needs to be done to ensure that timely information is disseminated to enhance disaster risk knowledge among our citizens,” he added.
Mr Eric Suman, the Director-General of the Ghana Meteorological Agency, said in Ghana, one out of three people were not covered in disaster and called for the need to design and adopt proactive systems to reduce disaster risks in the country.
He said formerly it took over 80mm of rain to cause flooding in Accra but now even 30mm of rainfall caused flooding and its associated havoc in the city.
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