Liberia: National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy In Sight
MONROVIA – The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 commenced a two-day national stakeholder workshop in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County on developing a disaster risk assessment and national risk reduction strategy for Liberia.
The workshop attracted over 60 persons from relevant government ministries, agencies of government, NGOs, private sector, academic institutions and representatives of international organizations who 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 said 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 him, there is also a conspicuous risk assessment and management gap highlighting hazards, vulnerabilities and copping capacities and 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 emphasized.
He disclosed that the two-year project “to advance the National Adaptation Plans(NAP)process for medium-term investment planning in climate-sensitive sectors and coastal areas in Liberia” funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners including the National Disaster Management Agency, is responding to this need.
The project, according to him seeks to ensure that Liberia develops management and risk reduction strategies linked to natural disaster risk management policies
The main project objective is to support Liberia to put in place its National Adaptation Planning process contributing to and building upon existing development planning strategies and processes and to implement priority adaptation actions, Tumbey added.
Speaking further, Tumbey noted that Liberia is exposed to natural hazards, which are being compounded by climate-related hazards including floods, windstorms, wild fire, and coastal erosion that are likely to worsen with climate change in Liberia.
“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 impacts of recent coastal erosion, floods and wind storms across the country have highlighted the exposure, vulnerability, and risk of the population.
Speaking at the start of the stakeholder workshop, EPA Deputy Executive Director Randall M. Dobayou welcomed participants and called on them to fully participate in the deliberation.
He underscored the importance of a national disaster risk reduction strategy and said Liberia faces serious climate change threats.
According to him, the EPA has a significant role to play with disaster because according to him its affect the environment.
Augustine F. Tamba, Deputy Executive Director for Operation at the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) 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 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.