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Disaster Agency Observes Int’L Day

By Precious D. Freeman
The National Disaster Management Agency [NDMA] recently celebrated the International Day for Disaster Reduction which took place at the NDMA auditorium with the Minister of Internal Affairs, Varney Sirleaf, Minister of Health, Wilhemina Jallah and students from various institutions. The Global Theme for this year was Good Disaster Risk Governance.
Serving as the Keynote Speaker, Dorsla Farcartity said that Governance is a new concept in the study of disasters which is governed with research on governance issues related to hazards and disasters in its infancy; Disaster governance is conceptual but not always empirically related to environmental risk, earth system and collaborative governance.
“Disaster governance arrangements are shaped by social, economic, and political forces, such as globalization, political and economic trends within the world system, and sociodemographic changes. Population migration into hazardous areas and efforts at disaster governance face many challenges, including global disparities in income, well-being, and political empowerment, as well as the rapid expansion of disaster vulnerability, particularly in poor nations, ” he explained.
“Disaster governance arrangements exist at different scales and often focus on specific phases of the hazards cycle, e.g. mitigation and response. Governance arrangements tend to be reactive and fragmented, most systems are neither risk based nor comprehensive. Governance arrangements and capabilities vary considerably across societies as a function of such factors as overall state capacity, state-civil society relationships, and economic organization, ” he said.
“Good disaster risk governance requires transfer accountability in every respect because disaster involves human catastrophe that must always be accounted for, strengthening systems of disaster will enhance governance through coordination and adequate surge capacity,” he stated.
The snapshot of Disaster Risk Governance in Liberia was done by the Deputy Executive Director for operations, Hon. Augustine F. Tamba and the objective is to provide an update on Liberia’s Disaster Risk Governance milestone and point to the challenges confronting the future of Disaster Risk Reduction [DRR] governance in Liberia.
According to Hon. Tamba the challenges confronting DRR Governance in Liberia is unlimited logistical capacity [vehicles, motorbikes, computers etc.] Limited human resource capacity to cover the country, limited national budgetary allocation, lack of prepositioned supplies and regional hubs to facilitate prompt disaster response and limited training [local and international] opportunities to enhance to the knowledge of staff.
According to the Executive Director for NDMA one cannot govern without partners and it cannot also be successful without political rime, and have come to say that the Government of Liberia is really committed to Disaster Management. He also said disasters are caused by the intensity of hazards and he listed four major areas that can be referred to as Disaster which are Fire, Flood, Windstorm and Hazards.
He added that when all these happen people are affected and their belongings are destroyed; this is why to align with the mandate of the Government of Liberia, President George Manneh Weah thought it wise to establish the Presidential Disaster Response Tax Force and it has been implementing and responding to incidences in Monrovia and are about to get into the counties.
According to the Country leader for International Rescue Community [IRC], Faith A. Cooper her involvement in Disaster Management had actually been 10 years now, and she is proud to say that Liberians are very resilient people.
She added that when she was opportune to work in her homeland was in 2010 and that was the best thing she had ever wished for, because she did not only get any type of job but the one she had passion for, and she is urging Liberians to see resilience as their responsibility.
Earlier, the Communication Director, Archievego M. Doe said that the United Nations General Assembly has designated October 13th as the international Day for Disaster Risk Reduction to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the progress being made towards reducing disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 adopted at the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan in March 2015.
He added that in 2016, the UN Secretary-General launched ”The Sendai Seven Campaign” to promote each of the seven targets over seven years. The 2020 target is Target E: Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020” which lays the foundation for the implementation of the Sendai Framework and is closely linked with priority for Action 2: Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk.”
Meanwhile the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah launched an awareness campaign concerning the Covid-19 which included sharing of banners with the inscription “Wear Your Mask” and she urged students and everybody to always take precaution because prevention is better than cure. She appealed that the nose mask should be used properly all the time; she said the nose mask should cover both nose and mouth because one can quickly contact the virus through those open areas.

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