Liberia commits to Disaster Risk Reduction
as NDMA observes International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR)
By Naneka A. Hoffman
The National Disaster Management Agency of Liberia has joined the rest of the world to celebrate International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR).
The Executive Director for the National Disaster Management Agency of Liberia, Henry O. Williams, says this year’s celebration focused on the Sendai Framework target, which is reduction of disaster to critical infrastructure and reeducation of services.
The Framework focuses on the adoption of measure that addresses the three dimensions of disaster risks, including exposure to hazards, vulnerability and capacity, and hazard characteristics to prevent creation of new risk, existing risk and increase resilience.
Director Williams explained that the NDMA focuses on strengthening early warning systems in the country in line with Sendai Framework target G, and call by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, for countries to spearhead new action to ensure every person on earth is protected by early warning systems within five years.
He said this year’s celebration held under the theme: “Strengthening the Synergies of Multi-hazard early warning systems with the National Early Warning and Emergency Operations Center (NEWEOC) is meant to convey a message that disaster could be avoided and as well prevented.
He noted that to build a resilient Disaster Risk Reduction, requires financial commitment and that the Agency’s focus in this respect is to obtain earthquake resilience by building a characterization of earthquake hazards.
For his part, the keynote speaker for the occasion, Mr. Niels Scott (UN-RC) stressed a need to strengthen disaster management in Liberia.
He emphasized that with increase of humanitarian situations in the country,
the National Disaster Management Agency should revise and enact a robust disaster risk reduction policy framework that clings to the old Civil Protection Act of 1989.
Speaking on behalf of Japanese Ambassador to Liberia, Mochizuki Hisanobu, Miss Megumi Otsu similarly stressed a need for the NDMA to have a cooperative measure in building a very responsive, effective disaster system that will be resilient to disaster risk reduction.
Miss Otsu added that this will enhance the capacity of the Agency to be responsive to disaster risk reduction.
During the celebration, the Agency received several donations from partners, including 15 Yamaha bikes, and 15 Pieces of helmets, 15 boxes of assorted accessories, Internet services for three years Fiber 5Mbps, units of drones and accessories with 48 cartons of A4 Double Printers, 32 cartons of A3 Double printing papers, 3 units of 18,000 BTU air conditioners plus one-year service contract, totaling approximately 250,000 United States Dollars.
Meanwhile, the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) together with stakeholders have agreed to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction.
The IDDRR is an annual event that urges citizens and governments to work together to make communities and countries more disaster resilient.
The day provided an opportunity to recognize progress made in addressing vulnerability to disasters, including loss of lives, economies, and health.
In 2022, the UN General Assembly resolved to keep the yearly commemoration as a tool for promoting a global mindset of natural disaster mitigation, covering prevention and preparedness.