The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) on Tuesday inaugurated the National Disaster Management Committees for seven Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies in the Greater Accra Region.
The Assemblies are: Kpone-Katamanso, Ledzekuku, La-Dadekotopon, Ashaiman, Tema West, Krowor and Tema Metropolitan.
Each Committee has 13 members made up of the District Director of NADMO, the Chairperson of the District Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Risk Reduction, Member of Parliament for the area, District Director of Health Service and a representative of the Garrison Commander of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Other members are the District Police Commander, Fire Officer, Information Officer, Director of Education, Environmental Officer, and Planning Officer as well as the District Social Development Welfare Officer and the District Chief Executive as the head.
Mr Eric Agyeman Prempeh, Director General of NADMO inaugurating the committees, said Section 27 of Act 927 of the 1992 Constitution required that NADMO establishes Disaster Management Committees at the national, regional and district levels to give meaning to the decentralization system practiced in the country.
Mr Prempeh added that the Act mandated the committee to prepare plans to prevent and mitigate disasters in its area of authority as well as maintain a close liaison with the Regional Disaster Management Committee to draw up plans and perform its core functions in the district as directed by the Council or Director General.
He explained that the work of NADMO was broader than the distribution of relief items which Ghanaians mainly associated the Organization with, saying “many people don’t understand the work of NADMO, they only talk about sharing of relief items, but that is only about 15 per cent of our core mandate”.
He indicated that his outfit also handles health related issues owing to it having a Disease and Epidemic Department, which took over health related issues, adding that NADMO officials also liaise with relevant institutions in addressing Ghanaian deportees’ related matters.
Mr Prempeh said as part of his vision to reposition NADMO, he had worked towards addressing the major challenges of the organization in respect to funds, logistics and training of staff, noting that he had introduced a programme dubbed ‘Catch them young’ through the establishment of disaster clubs within tertiary, secondary and primary school levels.
He appealed to the public and stakeholders to support the work of the Committee, reminding them that disaster had no political, ethnic or religious affiliation as it could destroy within a day all developmental projects and government initiatives.
Mr Ishmael Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister and chairman for the inauguration, commended NADMO for the formation of the Committees, saying it was long overdue since the Region had seen a number of disasters mainly caused by poor developmental planning and environmental issues.
Mr Ashitey said there was the need for the Committees and NADMO to work hard towards the prevention of disasters rather than reacting to it, adding that the Organization must give advance advices on disaster related issues.
He reminded Ghanaians that nature will continue to behave the way it does but the burden lied on the people to position ourselves well to prevent the adverse effects.
Mr Archibald Cobbinah, Greater Accra Regional NADMO Director, said the work of the Committee was critical to the operations of the organizations, saying there was the need to look at issuance of permit for building of structures on water ways among others as they contributed greatly to the occurrence of floods.