Disaster Management is a shared responsibility – Wayongo

Mr Mark Wayongo, Minister of the Interior, has observed that disaster management was a shared responsibility, and has urged all, including Members of Parliament, to take active interest.

He said the active participation of Parliamentarians was crucial for improving the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction.

Mr Wayongo made the observation in a speech read for him at a two-day sensitization workshop for members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior at Sogakope in the Volta Region.

The workshop was organized by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), to sensitize the committee members on the new NADMO Bill, to be laid in Parliament by the first quarter of 2015.

Cabinet has approved the submissions made for the review of the NADMO Act 517 of 1996, to make the organization more relevant to new dimensions and best practices of disaster risks management.

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

“In our fight to build a resilient nation, we are confronted with vulnerable communities with behaviours and cultures that defy best disaster management practices . The sad situation is the unwillingness to change and entrenched damaging attitudes among our people.

“ As Parliamentarians, you can communicate important disaster risk information to your constituents, to help change attitudes and mitigate the effect of disasters,” he added.

The Minister said, when passed into law, the Bill would make the country more resilient, and entreat the Parliamentarians to promote the Bill among their colleagues, and ensure its smooth passage when it is laid.

Mr Kofi Portuphy, National Coordinator of NADMO, said the aim of the workshop was to let Parliament be informed about the Bill to be laid, and also use members of the select committee as advocacy to lobby Parliament when it is laid before it.

He said best practices the world over, was to let the law makers be informed about the content of any Bill to be laid before Parliament to promote its safe passage.

He said there was the need to review the old Act to capture the present day disaster risks management and climate change of the country.

Mr Portuphy said the new Bill had captured best practices, such as finding internal funds to support the work of the organization.

“ Over dependency on our donors is having a heavy toll on them, and as a country, we need to establish a Disaster Fund to mobilize funds internally to support disaster risks management and climate change effects.

“ There are other provisions in the Bill to protect NADMO in carrying out its core mandates more effectively and efficiently,” he added.

NADMO stakeholders also took their turn to present papers on their collaboration with NADMO in the areas of disaster risks management, climate change and early warning systems. GNA

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