A five-day workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction has begun in Accra.
The workshop, which is under the theme ‘Building Disaster Resilience to Natural Hazards in Ghana’ is an indication of Ghana’s commitment to the priority areas of the Sendai Framework, and particularly to priority 3 which requires countries to invest in disaster risk reduction for resilience.
Addressing participants and other stakeholders at the opening ceremony on Monday, 19th November, 2018, Mr. Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior said Ghana is committed to implementing the priority areas of the Sendai Framework.
“In consonance with, priority three which requires nations to invest in disaster risk reduction for resilience, the nation is putting measures in place to mitigate the various hazards facing the country” he said.
According to the Minster, Ghana has experienced various forms of disasters such as Floods, Pests and Insects infestations, Fires, Disease Epidemics, Climate related hazards and most recently, structural collapses.
He cited the recent massive flooding in some part of the country as a result of the spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso and Weija Dam in the Greater Accra Region as some of the disasters which has caused destruction to lives and properties worth millions of cedis.
Mr. Dery noted that, to mitigate the effects of such disasters, Government, in the 2018 budget, committed GHC5.5 million for the construction and dredging of some critical storm drains.
“Drains in areas such as South Kaneshie, Awudome, Adabraka-Odawna are to be dredged or constructed to direct outflows into the Odaw drain. More of such initiatives will be implemented across the country” he stated.
He further revealed that to consolidate and strengthen the current land tenure arrangement and also ensure an effective and efficient land administration, the Lands Commission was pursuing the processes which would lead to the enactment of the Land Bill and implementation of the Land Act.
“The Regional Spatial Development Framework (RSDF) for Greater Accra Region and Ashanti Region has been prepared and work is in progress on that of Central, Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Volta Regions” Mr. Dery hinted.
The Minister also indicated that, in a bid to strengthen the National Disaster Management Organisation, Parliament passed a new National Disaster Management Organization Act 927 which established the National Disaster Fund for the country, and to which, Government has since 2017 made payments into.
This according to the Minister, was proof of Government’s commitment to strengthening disaster risk management and governance system of the country.
”As we embark on the disaster risk management journey, we would need several of such innovative initiatives to help manage disasters to make the world a better place for everyone. Thus, improved awareness of disaster risk assessment and risk modeling as well as the probabilistic risk profiles for flood and drought hazards will be of immense benefit to us.”
He urged all stakeholders in the sector to continue to work towards providing solutions to hazards that are likely to manifest into disasters and encouraged participants in the workshop to show keen interest in the training and give off their best.
The Sendia Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is an international document which was adopted by the United Nations member states in March, 2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in June 2015.
The Sendai Framework outlines seven clear targets and four priorities for for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks.
The four priority areas are understanding disaster risk, strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk, investing in disaster reduction for resilience and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to build back better in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
The framework aims to achieve substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years.