The Superintendents of Montserrado and Grand Cape Mount Counties, two of Liberia’s 15 political subdivisions have called on members of the 53rd Liberian Legislature to pass into law a bill seeking the establishment of a national disaster management Commission in the country.
They say the passage of the bill into law will enable the proposed commission to adequately respond to any form of disaster across Liberia. The two local leaders spoke over the weekend at the close of a two-week intensive training on disaster management in Paynesville outside Monrovia. The workshop was conducted under the auspices of the West Africa Disaster Management Initiative (WADPI) bringing together 30 participants representing five counties, including Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, Margibi, Bomi, and Gbarpolu, respectively.
The main objective of the two-weeks training in Liberia is to utilize lessons learned from the recent Ebola epidemic, and to strengthen national capacities. It is also meant to implement an all-hazards approach to disaster preparedness and response management to ensure continued regional collaboration, communication and coordination among member States in disaster preparedness and response.
Montserrado County Superintendent, Florence Brenda, said participants could receive all of the trainings they need, but in the absence of support, they cannot utilize or apply the acknowledge acquired, saying “What I think is needed for now is the establishment of this Act because it will help people that are trained to be able to respond to whatsoever disaster that will enter in Liberia.”
Superintendent Brenda stressed that if results are to be achieved in the country’s disaster management process, there is a need to look in the right direction, noting that it was about time national stakeholders decentralize the entire process to enable rural dwellers have an idea how to respond to disaster problem, because they often become victims.
At the same time Superintendent Tenneh Kpedebah of Grand Cape Mount County has noted that training cannot be sustained without the establishment or enactment of a national disaster Act by members of the Legislature.
She said her people have acquired sufficient training on how to handle disaster matters, but what is important now is the passage of this act, which will empower them to demonstrate what they have learned over the last two weeks.
By Lewis S. Teh-Edited by Jonathan Browne