“Capacity Building Critical for NDMA”

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-UNDP Team Leader Tells Gov’t

By Tina S. Mehnpaine

Dorsla Farcarthy, a team leader at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has called on the Government of Liberia to build the capacity of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) to enhance response effort.

He said strengthening the institution will enable effective response whenever there is a disastrous occurrence.

Speaking during the observance of the ‘International Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy (DRRS)’, Dorsla said disaster incidents are so many and, NDMA being the first responder to disasters, more support is needed to enhance the capacity of the institution.

According to him, the Ebola situation should be used as a lesson for Liberians to mitigate the occurrence of disasters in the country.

“We were [severely] hit by the Ebola virus because we were never prepared and our health system was down, which caused the virus to claim many lives.”

Dorsla stressed the need for collaboration with civil society organizations, private citizens and international partners to help build the capacity of the NDMA.

“The UNDP will continue to be a helping hand to the NDMA whenever the need arises,” Dorsla said.

According to the UNDP team leader, when adequate resources are provided to the NDMA, they will be able to train the police, army, and the Liberia National Fire Service to address disasters.

“NDMA, which coordinates the response effort, will be able to work with these institutions to respond to disasters such as fires, windstorms, floods, and erosions,” he added.

Henry O. Williams, NDMA Executive Director, stated that in terms of the ratio of countries’ contribution toward the DRRS, Liberia is one of the few countries that have produced toward the process,” he said.

“This is why this day is set aside to acknowledge the progress and efforts being made by the NDMA towards DRRS. We need to recognize countries’ efforts because DRRS is the tool that you use to reduce disasters. In our operational modules, we have done a lot to manage disasters across the country,” he added.

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