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Ghana tweaks earthquake response plan

Ghana tweaks earthquake response plan

Authorities at the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) have disclosed that under the direction of the President, a committee tasked to develop a comprehensive framework for re-focusing the national earthquake preparedness and response for the country is almost about completing its work.

The framework when complete, will inform the disaster organization about the major earthquake risks, real vulnerability of the nation and various remedies that policy makers have to put in place to deal with earthquakes should they occur in the country.

This was made known by the Director General of NADMO, Eric Nana Agyeman – Prempeh, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Director General responsible for Technical and Reforms, Seji Saji, at a ceremony held at the institute of local government studies to observe the International Day for Disaster Reduction under the theme, Reduce Disaster Damage to Critical Infrastructure and Disruption of Basic Services.

“The behavior toward earthquake threat in general, is as though all is well. In effect we are feasting under the Sword of Damocles, and praying that it never strikes. It is gratifying, however, that a committee set up under the direction of the president to come out with a comprehensive framework for refocusing national earthquake preparedness and response, has almost completed its work,” the NADMO boss said. “This notwithstanding, there is a need for a major earthquake risk assessment that will reveal the real vulnerability of the nation. The shocking enormity of the vulnerability that will pop up will be enough signal to all of us, especially our policy makers, that we need to sit up and act now.”

The NADMO boss further posed the following questions, “Have we thought of the possibility of some of our critical infrastructure such as Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Kotoka International Airport, Weija Dam, etc; collapsing as a result of a severe earthquake? What pragmatic actions are we taking or pursuing to protect these and many more
of such infrastructure? The earlier we act, the better for us,” Mr. Agyeman – Prempeh said in answer to his questions posed.

On why NADMO has decided to engage the youth of the country, he indicated that the disaster management organization, has developed a strategy to bring on board the youth in the disaster risk reduction drive.

“The strategy is called Institutional Arrangement to Engage Young Ones in Disaster Risk Reduction, dubbed ‘Catch them Young.’ The purpose of the strategy is to leverage on the ability of young ones as agents of change, and vigorously engage them as disaster risk reduction Ambassadors in their communities and in their homes,” the NADMO boss, Eric Nana Agyeman – Prempeh noted.



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