THE Brong Ahafo Regional Secretariat of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has no stock of relief items to enable the region to respond to the increasing needs of disaster victims.
In case of any emergency situation, the region has to call on the national secretariat before it can attend to the victims.
Apart from that, the Regional, Municipal and District Secretariats of NADMO have no vehicles, thereby making mobility very difficult for the staff to respond promptly to disasters.
The Regional Co-ordinator of NADMO, Mr Joseph Blankson Nyarko, who made the disclosure, has therefore made an urgent appeal to the government and the national secretariat to meet the logistical and operational needs of the region to enable it to effectively respond to disasters when they occur.
Mr Nyarko was speaking at the regional launch and inauguration of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Management Platform in Sunyani.
A 30-member executive committee comprising representatives of institutions and selected individuals chaired by Dr Daniel K. Addo-Siaw, the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Forest Resource Technology (FFRT) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) campus in Sunyani and an 11-member working committee selected from the executive committee, were inaugurated at the ceremony.
In an address, Mr Nyarko said 3,000 people had been displaced in the region this year as a result of floods, rainstorms, bush and domestic fires.
He said the region also experienced its first gas explosion on May 25, this year, but due to the timely intervention of the Ghana National Fire Service, NADMO and other stakeholders, the situation was brought under control.
According to him, the region had recorded 16 and 12 confirmed cases of HINI Pandemic Influenza at the Techiman and Kintampo Senior High Schools, respectively, but all the victims had been treated.
Subsequently, Mr Nyarko said a regional communication team on the HINI pandemic had been put in place to intensify public education while plans were far advanced to replicate it in all the municipalities and districts in the region.
The Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo expressed concern about the way some local radio stations in the region were using their media to cause panic and fear about the on-going vaccination on HINI pandemic influenza in the region.
He said some of the stations were disseminating alarming information about the vaccination which was detrimental to efforts by the government to prevent any massive national disaster by the spread of the HINI influenza.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo stated that disaster prevention and management were a shared responsibility and, therefore, implored all stakeholders, especially the radio stations, to use their media to educate the public on disaster prevention rather than to cause panic and fear.
He stated that the major incidence of disasters in the country had been floods, epidemics, fires, pests and diseases as well as conflicts.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said in recent times, those natural hazards had caused major disruptions in the economic and social development of the country due to the inability to cope with them effectively, and cited a recent disaster that befell Agona Swedru as a typical example.
Mrs Diana Boakye, in-charge of Monitoring, Evaluation, Information and Training (NERIT) at the NADMO Headquarters in Accra, who read an address on behalf of Mr Kofi Portuphy, the National Co-ordinator, urged the regional platform to influence the various municipal and district assemblies in the region to enact policies geared towards disaster risk reduction in their respective areas.