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General News of Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Source: GNA

NADMO's preparedness exercise takes off

Accra, Aug. 28, GNA - A three-day disaster programme aimed at testing the earthquake preparedness of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other stakeholders in the country begun in Accra on Tuesday.

The exercise dubbed: "AHOBOA" is a collaborative programme with Ghana and the United Kingdom Army.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Mr. George Isaac Amoo, National Co-coordinator of NADMO said more than 200 million people worldwide were affected by disasters, such as droughts, floods, windstorms, earthquakes, sea quakes, tidal waves, sea erosion, wild bushfires, domestic and industrial fires.

He said an increase in population, environmental degradation and global warming due to climate change and poverty, made the impact of those disasters worse and very severe on the victims. Mr. Amoo, said NADMO was well prepared to strengthen its disaster preparedness for an effective response at all levels and had therefore proposed amendments to ACT 517 of 1996 which established NADMO as responsible for areas affected by disasters and similar emergencies to make the Organisation more effective. He said, disasters in the country were very disturbing and even though they could not be prevented, their disastrous effects on vulnerable communities and the environment as a whole could be prevented.

He regretted that the Act establishing the organisation did not provide disaster management structures at various governmental ministries, institutions and agencies to ensure that disaster concepts were incorporated into their development programmes and practices. That, he said, was a weakness in disaster management in various institutions and communities. Mr. Amoo expressed a firm conviction that the amendments when effected, would lead to more effective disaster prevention operations and also facilitate NADMO'S rapid response to disasters. Mrs Diana Boakye, Acting Deputy Coordinator of NADMO expressed the hope that Ghanaians would develop a shared understanding for disaster management after the event. 28 Aug. 07

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