-Disaster Management Report
While this year’s raining season is coming to an end, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has recorded 52,036 people being affected by the heavy floods from July to October, 2018.
NDMA executive director, Augustine Tamba, made the disclosure on Saturday, October 13 at a program marking the observance of International Day for Disaster Reduction, which the United Nations General Assembly first observed and adapted in 1989. This year’s program was held under the theme, ”Reducing Disaster Economic Losses.”
According to Mr. Tamba’s research report, flood is one of the major challenges facing some parts of Liberia, mainly during the rainy season.
He however said authorities of the agency are working tirelessly to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction in the country.
According to Tamba, the continuous flooding which has created a humanitarian crisis for several other residents — with some in five of the 15 counties — should not be ignored, “because flood situation needs urgent and workable remedy owing to the risk it poses on lives and properties of the residents.”
The country’s flooding situation reduces after the July and August rains when many persons are by then victimized in their respective communities.
“This growing humanitarian situation,” Mr. Tamba said, “has contaminated existing water points, which gave birth to water-borne diseases, coupled with mass displacement, and food insecurity in most of the affected areas.”
He said before the August downpour of rain, a high precipitation in July caused mass displacement of people and affected 52,036 people with reported death of one. He added that the floods have polluted water points and destroyed properties; thereby causing serious humanitarian crisis in several communities in Montserrado, Margibi, Bomi, Grand Bassa, and Sinoe Counties.
Tamba said further that the humanitarian response process started relatively slow to the extent that only 75 percent of the cash was transferred to the affected people from the total of the relief items the agency received.
With this, Mr. Tamba said, there are still gaps, which have brought a high cost of livelihood to the affected communities. These include but are not limited to logistical support to gather some of the essential facts on the victims, “though there is no funding to compensate volunteers during emergency; no capacity to collect and analyze data.”
Tamba is therefore calling for timely preparation during the upcoming dry season to address any fire, pest infestations, air pollution, epidemics, erosion, and unexpected bio-chemical outbreaks.
He meanwhile appealed to authorities of the Ministry of Education and the Liberia Institute for Public Administration to teach disaster-related education beginning with the high schools considering the threat disaster poses to humans’ existence.