Prevention is better than cure

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The rains have intensified, and we have started hearing news of heavy downpours destroying homes and foodstuffs in various communities across the country.

According to some recent reports, some households or families have already been seriously affected by recent downpours in the provinces, which has prompted institutions such as banks to make some handsome cash donations to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).

While this is good and essential to mitigate the somehow ineluctable menace of the vagaries of weather, it is prudent on our side to put in place mechanisms that would help us minimize the occurrences of this mishap.

Put together, the impacts of heavy downpours could be disastrous, if proper mechanisms are not put in place to avert such preventable situations.

The recent storms and heavy downpours upcountry have sparked fear that as the rains intensify in the coming months, more unwanted realities might occur.

It is, therefore, advisable that proper mechanisms are put in place to mitigate and prevent damages that might take place in the upcoming weeks and months of intensive rains.

This fact has been subscribed to by the altruistic estimation by the NDMA executive director who quoted the Department of Water Resources prediction that this year’s rains are expected to be above normal and “likely to displace over 35,000 people (mainly women and children)”.

Furthermore, “the agency has registered over 4,000 windstorm and flash flood victims so far,” the NDMA executive director stated.

Disasters are no respecter of race, tribe or social status, he rightly states, as they are events that inflict great damage, destruction and human suffering.

However, while the NDMA is asking for support to provide relief service to victims of disaster, we as a nation should remember to put first things first.

In the first place, communities should be adequately sensitised on precautionary measures to avoid being hit by rain water floods and windstorms, as a result of the rainy season weather condition.

People should also be advised to avoid making settlements on waterways, and proper gutters or waterways should be developed by the communities to minimize damages on houses and settlements by the rains, windstorms and flashfloods.

Otherwise, communities could face dire situations and predicaments that could be seriously dreadful.

Even though some relief may come from certain quarters such as government through the National Disaster Management Agency, and some other private entities and individuals, to alleviate the plight of victims of rain floods and storms, it is always advisable to prevent rather than to cure.

“Treatment without prevention is simply unsustainable.“

Bill Gates