General News of Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

NADMO lacks resources to cater for disaster victims - Portuphy

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has stated that the organisation does not have the resources to cater for victims in the event of any flooding.

According to a research by the organisation, more than two million people in Ghana are prone to flood-related disasters, but its National Co-ordinator, Mr Kofi Portuphy, has emphasised that “should any disaster strike today, the organisation does not have a single grain of rice or maize or a tent to cater for any victims”.

Mr Portuphy said this at the third national platform meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Accra yesterday.

He, however, gave an assurance that NADMO was in constant touch with those identified to ensure that they were educated on what to do when disaster struck.

The platform is made up of stakeholders in disaster management and they seek to shift the focus of disaster management from relief provision and rescue to disaster prevention, while at the same time adopting strategies that will prevent the impact of climate change.

Mr Portuphy said for the two million people prone to flood-related disasters, NADMO had identified where to relocate them and was of the view that some of them would find shelter with their relatives.

He recounted a recent incident in which some Fulanis in Pru were displaced after communal violence there, leading to the death of about four people, saying NADMO could not do much because it did not have a vehicle or money to offer the victims any serious assistance.

He complained that for the past four years the Ministry of Finance had promised but failed to provide NADMO with funds to procure tents, adding, however, that “with all these challenges we are doing our best”.

He said notwithstanding those financial challenges, NADMO had been able to chalk up some successes, including the dredging of the Wasakuse River that provides 10 lakes with fresh water, thereby stabilising the ecology of the area that had dried up in the last 20 years.

He said it would have cost the government over $200 million to reclaim the dried rivers but NADMO, with some equipment provided by the Japanese Government, was able to dredge 12 kilometres of the 24-kilometre river which had brought a lot of life to the people living on the banks.

He commended Madam Comfort Doyoe Ghansah, the Member of Parliament for Ada East, for helping to raise GH¢200,000 to purchase fuel for the earth-moving machines that NADMO used in dredging the river.

Mr Portuphy announced that NADMO was also reviewing its operational law, Act 517, which came into operation in 1995, to ensure that it factored present-day disasters into consideration and also help in enhancing the organisation’s operations for the good of all.

He said one of the biggest challenges for the organisation in its disaster management had been communication, but the United States was supporting it with energy communication gadgets to make it possible for disaster information to be transmitted on screens across the country, making it possible to locate the exact areas where the emergency occurred.

The Chairman of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation, Rev Dr Nii Amoo-Darku, commended NADMO for its professionalism and commitment to duty and urged it to strive to attain higher heights.