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05.04.2012 General News

Japan Donates Rescue Vehicles, Equipment To NADMO

By Musah Yahaya Jafaru & Marian Ansah - Daily Graphic
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Sixty-one rescue operation vehicles have been presented to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to enhance its capacity to respond to natural disasters.

The equipment, valued at $8.5 million, include bulldozers, excavators, graders, water tankers, tipper trucks, cargo trucks and low loaders.

The donation forms part of the “Programme for the Improvement of Capabilities to Cope with Natural Disasters Caused by Climate Change”, initiated by the Japanese government to support countries to respond to natural disasters caused by climate change.

Presenting the vehicles wednesday at a ceremony attended by Vice-President John Dramani Mahama in Accra, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Naoto Nikai, said the Japanese government would be donating more of the vehicles to NADMO in June, this year.

He said the vehicles were expected to assist Ghana to deal with emergency situations and, as well as help in disaster prevention purposes.

Mr Nikai expressed the hope that there would be no disaster in Ghana, and indicated that if it happened, the government would be able to act “timely and appropriately” with the delivery of the vehicles.

The Vice-President said the vehicles had come at a time when the country needed to braze itself to respond more promptly to natural disasters and mitigate their effect on affected people.

Giving some statistics, he said 950 communities, 20,000 acres of farmland and 744 schools were destroyed last year as a result of heavy rains.

Mr Mahama said the startling statistics required the country to invest in disaster prevention.

He, therefore, urged chiefs and other opinion leaders to ensure that schools in their communities planted trees to serve as shields against heavy rainfall.

Mr Mahama commended the Japanese Government for supporting Ghana with the vehicles.

He recalled that Ghana showed solidarity with Japan on the earthquake that struck that country last year leading to several deaths and destruction of infrastructure.

The National Co-ordinator of NADMO, Mr Kofi Portuphy, said the vehicles would enhance the capacity of organisation to resettle disaster victims, build dams in flood-prone areas, transport relief items and send drinking water to communities cut off by natural disaster.

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