The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, has urged Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) to adopt proactive and productive strategies in their planning schemes to effectively address disaster management issues to ensure a reduction in the occurrence of disasters, especially man-made ones, to the minimum in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
He, however, gave the assurance that the central government would not stand in the way of the National Disaster Management Organisation’s (NADMO) operations but would rather assist the organisation in any possible way to enable it to achieve its legal mandate.
Mr Eric Opoku said this at a durbar held at the forecourt of the Bechem Civic Centre in the Tano South District to mark the regional celebration of this year’s World Disaster Reduction Day. It had the theme, “Making Cities Resilient-My City is Getting Ready”.
Touching on the theme for the celebration, the deputy regional minister said the campaign of making cities resilient was aimed at building strong and sustainable urban communities, which would ultimately protect people against disasters.
He, therefore, urged MDAs, as well as the general public to take action to help reduce the vulnerability of their towns and cities to disasters.
Mr Opoku noted that planning and development of communities must be considered as a shared responsibility and, therefore, not be left solely for central and local government authorities.
“We as individuals and communities equally have an important role to play in protecting critical infrastructure by avoiding attitudes and tendencies in direct relation to the building of structures in waterways,” he said.
Mr Opoku noted that natural disasters cannot be absolutely prevented, but could be minimised to the barest, if we adopt prudent methods in our planning and development schemes and programmes.
The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister added that disasters could also come in the form of epidemics and pandemics as a result of our bad sanitary attitudes.
He, therefore, reiterated the call on everyone to maintain high levels of hygiene and sound environmental practices.
Mr Opoku further appealed to all educational institutions to incorporate disaster management issues in the various curricula so that the youth in schools understand the importance of disaster management.
Mr J.B. Nyarko, the Regional NADMO Coordinator, for his part, commended the Tano South District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Bukari Zakari Anaba and the entire district for accepting to host the programme at a very short notice and expressed the hope that in future other districts would emulate their kind gesture.
Mr Anaba, the Tano South DCE, called on all residents to join hands with their respective MDAs and other statutory planning agencies to help prevent disasters, especially man-made ones.