Nana Obiri Boahen, Minister of State at the Ministry of The Interior last Wednesday said the Government would provide the necessary resources to support National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to play its pivotal role in disaster prevention. He called for the active engagement of all in disaster risk prevention and management.
Addressing journalists on the occasion of the 2007 World Disaster Day, which was observed on the theme 'Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School', Nana Boahen reiterated the need to protect children from disasters.
The World Disaster Reduction Day, which is celebrated on the second Wednesday of October each year since 2000, is used to identify, motivate and mobilise collaborating agencies to ensure effective co-ordinated efforts for disaster prevention and mitigation.
Nana Boahen said protection of children against disasters required standardised and sustained disaster risk education in all schools. 'Integrating disaster -risk education into national curricula and building safe school facilities are two factors that can protect resources for development and contribute to our nation's progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Children, who were educated on hazards and risks, tended to play an important role in saving lives and protecting members of their communities in times of disaster. Making disaster risk awareness education part of the national curricula would foster better understanding of the immediate environment in which children and their families lived and worked, Nana Boahen said.
He noted that children had been most vulnerable to natural disasters, and the theme of the celebration, therefore, sought to focus attention on the construction and retrofitting of school buildings to withstand natural hazards.
Mr Akrofi Asiedu, Acting National Co-ordinator of NADMO, announced that the celebration was being marked with a month-long-activities including television and radio discussions; publication of educational materials; a durbar for school children at Tema and a seminar in Accra for stakeholders in education to look at ways of integrating disaster risk education in the school curricular. Similar activities would take place in all the regions and districts of the country.
Dr Stephen Duah-Yentumi, Assistant UNDP Resident Representative, recalled the disruption the recent floods in the three Northern Regions caused and lauded the effort of the Government, Non-Governmental Organisations; United Nations and other concerned groups in bringing relief to the affected areas.