Workshop On Disaster Risk Management Begins in Monrovia
The Informer (Monrovia)
Kevin S. Tydehson
30 July 2009
A three day workshop to deliberate on findings from the nation-wide capacity needs assessment on Liberia’s preparedness to address natural disaster commenced yesterday at the Monrovia YMCA Building on Broad.
The workshop brought together County Gender Coordinators, County Inspectors, Liberia National Red Cross Society Field Officers, members of the National Legislature including representatives of media institutions among others.
According to UNDP Information Officer, Mr. Anthony Selmah, the workshop is expected to broaden the understanding of participants on key disaster risk reduction frameworks and provide an opportunity for participants to contribute to the finalization of the draft National Action Plan for capacity development.
Speaking during the official opening program, Internal Affairs Minister, Abdulai Johnson, lauded the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for its support in organizing the workshop and said that disaster does not discriminate between urban and rural communities.
Minister Abdulai disclosed to participants that Liberia has experienced numerous disasters such as floods in the costal areas of the country since 2006 coupled with the damage of major highways.
“I had an experience of flood that took a whole town in certain part of Grand Kru while I was in the helicopter traveling with the President Sirleaf,” he said.
The Minister said that man-made disaster can be minimized through education which according to him triggered the present workshop for participants to be educated and explain to others how man-made disasters are dangerous to the country.
He observed that construction pattern which forbids one to carry on construction works in the swamp in the country many years ago because according to him, swamps were considered as government’s land because swamps have the tendency to absorb water which flows from main land as a result of rain which is considered as a natural disaster, while construction in the swamps is man-made disaster.
He said once a man decides to build in a swamp, he should be prepared to salvage the area in which he is doing the construction or create a channel through which water from the mainland could flow to avoid man-made disaster.
He maintained further that constructing on swamping areas in the country is one of the challenges faced by the government and the National Disaster Risk Reduction Commission which is also a functionary of the government.
It can be recalled that the Government of Liberia and UNDP conducted a National Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity Needs Assessment in 2007 as part of the process of Strengthening National Capacities in disaster risk reduction. The assessment identified major resource constraints and capacity gaps in policy and legal frameworks. As a result, a draft National Action Plan for Capacity Development was developed.
UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.
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