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03.06.2005 Disaster

Minister calls for prompt responses to disasters


Accra, June 3 GNA - Mr William Ofori Boafo, Deputy Minister of Defence, on Friday called on the security agencies to ensure prompt and appropriate response to disaster situations.

He said: "I am, and indeed the whole nation, is anxious to see the day when the Police or the Fire Service will be able to arrive at a crime or fire scene minutes after they receive a distress call promptly with adequate water and fire extinguishing materials " Mr Boafo was speaking at the closing ceremony of Internal Crisis Management Course at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) at Teshie, Near Accra.

The British Government and the Ministry of Defence among others groups sponsored the three-week course, which delved into topics on conflict prevention and resolution, crisis and disaster prevention and management.

The course was also aimed at equipping participants with in-depth understanding of internal crisis management, so that they could work more effectively, thereby minimising loss of lives, livelihoods and suffering, as well as achieve sustainable development. The participants were drawn from the Police Service, Immigration Service, Fire Service, Customs Exercise and Preventive Service, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ministry of Interior and the Forestry Commission.

Mr Boafo called on the personnel to ensure the appropriate public responses to disaster situations, adding that institutional capacity building alone was not sufficient to tackle such problems. He assured the participants that the government would continue to support the security agencies and the Para-military organisations with the necessary training and equipment to facilitate disaster management. Mr Boafo called for the harmonization of the various ideas of participants into a national blueprint and operational manual to guide the overall response to disasters.

Major General George Ayirku, Commandant of the GAFCSC, commended the resource persons from the Cranfield Disaster Management Centre and Bradford University of the UK as well as those from the University of Ghana for giving the participants deeper understanding of internal crises management and skills acquisition to enhance their capacity to manage crisis. He called on the crises management agencies to organised more exercises for its members to enhance their capacity in disaster management. All the participants were awarded certificates . 3 June 05