Communities are the best agents of disaster risk reduction
December 17, 2010
Ho, Dec. 17, GNA - Participants at the Volta Region launch of the 25-member Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) on Thursday said active community involvement backed by a strong political commitment were indispensable towards sustainable disaster risk reduction in Ghana.
The participants argued that as those who bear the direct consequences of disasters, communities and their institutions of political and social mobilization constituted the best agents to use in achieving disaster reduction sustainably through education and advocacy.
The formation of Platforms on DRR at the national, regional and district levels was prescribed by 168 governments meeting in Hyogo, Japan, in 2005, as the global blueprint towards disaster risk reduction.
In a speech read for him Mr Kofi Portuphy, the National Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), said the Platforms on DRR were expected to plan activities around five priorities of the Hyogo Framework for action 2005-2015, under the theme, "Building the resilience of Nations and communities to disasters."
They (Platforms) are to ensure that DRR becomes a national and local priority with strong institutional basis for implementing actions at disaster risk reduction.
They are also to identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning, use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels, reduce the underlying risk factors and strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.
At least 296 communities in 12 districts in the Volta Region were affected by recent floods in the country.
Statistics from the Volta Regional Directorate of the NADMO showed that the floods displaced 33,897 people inundated 6,752.5 acres of farm land and destroyed 1,707 houses.
In a report, Mr Aikins Kweku Anani, Director of Manpower and Mobilization at the NADMO Regional office, said the Volta Region presented a peculiar vulnerability to flooding.
The Volta Region is the only region that has a river traversing the majority of its land space from North (Krachi West and East), through Kpando and South Dayi in the middle to Sogakope and Adidome in the south.
Most parts of Southern Volta are bordered to the Gulf of Guinea, which is a recipe for serious flooding that destroys vast areas of farmlands, buildings and other property that run into millions of Ghana cedis annually.