Stakeholders review previous progress
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in partnership with the Liberia Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, commenced a two-day national stakeholder workshop in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, a release has said.
The exercise, which has attracted over 60 participants from government ministries and agencies, according to the release, is intended to develop a disaster risk assessment and national risk reduction strategy for the country. Other participants were drawn from some non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, and academic institutions. They are reviewing progress being made in the development of a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Strategy.
Local and international consultants working on the project are expected to present key achievements to the stakeholders at the forum, which is also expected to review the operational guidelines for DRR plan integration.
Abraham Tumbey, project manager of the National Adaptation Plans (NAP), said that there is an absence of DRR strategy, and operational guidance in the country in the current response to disasters, which occur as a result of natural hazards.
According to Tumbey, there is also a conspicuous risk assessment and management gap highlighting hazards, vulnerabilities and copping capacities. He disclosed that the proposed study is intended to fill the knowledge gaps with regards to DRR strategies, and operational guidance in the response to disasters.
“In order to respond to the exposure, vulnerability, and risk of the population posed by natural hazards and climate change impacts, there is a need to fill the knowledge gaps with regards to DRR strategies, and operational guidance in the response to current disasters,” Tumbey said.
He said that the two-year project aims at advancing the National Adaptation Plans for medium-term investment planning in climate-sensitive sectors, and coastal areas in Liberia is funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and implemented by UNDP.
The project seeks to ensure that Liberia develops management and risk reduction strategies linked to natural disaster risk management policies with the objective to support the country put in place its NAP; contributing to and building upon existing development planning strategies and processes.
Tumbey added that Liberia is exposed to natural hazards, which are being compounded by climate-related hazards to include floods, windstorms, wildfire, and coastal erosion that are likely to worsen with climate change.
“This in turn will have significant impact on local communities’ livelihoods, the key sectors and overall national economic performances on the country,” he said.
According to him, the impact of recent coastal erosion, floods and wind storms across the country have highlighted the exposure, vulnerability, and risk of the population.
EPA Deputy Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou, called on the participants to focus their attention because of the need to reduce national disaster risk that faces serious climate change threats.
According to Dobayou, the EPA has a significant role to play with disaster, because its affect the environment.
NDMA Deputy Executive Director for Operations, Augustine F. Tamba, said in furtherance of its mandate as provided for by law, the agency remains in strict adherence to sub-national and national standard operation procedures aligned to international conventions on DRR most especially the four pillars on which the SFA of 2015 -2030 is deduced.
The NDMA body is mandated to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management to ensure timely and effective preparedness, response, recovery, prevention and mitigation to disasters.