Let’s prepare for disasters!

Friday, July 19, 2019

The coming months have been predicted to have heavy rainfall and weather-related disasters as the rainy season intensifies.

Few weeks ago, deaths have already been registered in parts of Central River and Upper River Regions since the rains began.

Properties worth millions have been damaged. Weather patterns continue to be unpredictable and extreme as years go by, a factor meteorologists blame on climate change.

Torrential rains characterised by strong winds and flash floods have become common in recent years.

Yet year in, year out, we continue to lose lives and property in weather-related incidents to say nothing of hunger resulting from destruction of crops.

The government continues its advocacy to warn people to move people from high risk zones. Despite these efforts, some people still find themselves in locations which expose them to the wrath of Mother Nature.

Recent calamities proved that emergency services are equally wanting; with the disaster agency have records of areas prone to disasters in the length and breadth of the country.

Averting disasters requires prior planning, co-ordination among concerned agencies and allocation of resources to deal with disasters.

Government agencies and key stakeholders should work hand-in-hand to ensure that such risks of losing people and property in the rainy season are minimised.

We can learn from countries like the US which is able to minimise damage in occurrence of bad weather patterns such as the recent Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey.

Proper forecasting and early prediction of possible disasters would help people prepare well before disaster strikes.

What remains to avert possible crisis is in the planning-building houses with the minimum standards that can withstand strong winds and creating water catchment areas and drainage channels to minimise the possibility of flooding.

A Guest Editorial