Jan 4, 2012, 1:04 PM
The Regional Disaster Management Committee in the Central River Region recently held the end-of-year disaster management review meeting convened at the Governor's office in Janjangbureh. The one-day forum brought together stakeholders from all departments within the region.
Bubacarr Fofana a member of the committee reminded participants of its functions which includes reviewing measures being taken for mitigation, capacity building and disaster prepareness by the local authorities in the region, laying down guidelines for integration of disaster prevention measures and for mitigation in their development plans and projects and to provide technical assistance for them.
Mr Fofana announced that he is just one month old in the region, and that there are plans under way to improve and strengthen the committee for effective and efficient operations.
Momodou Sowe a regional meteorological officer highlighted some of the achievements made by the committee, ranging from rescue operations, relief activities and preventing or combating disruptions or dealing with the effects of any threatening disaster situation in region.
Some of the constraints are inadequate resource mobilization and of office equipment for the preparation and safe storage of collected data, he revealed.
Lamin Samateh the Regional Environmental Inspector urged committee members to redouble their efforts in order to exercise their duties effectively.
According to Mr Samateh, disaster preparedness ranges from prevention to response measures and he, therefore, recommended a massive sensitization of local communities.
Although some disasters are natural, others are a result of direct human activities. "The local communities need to be informed adequately to be prevention conscious whenever they are implementing future development activities," he asserted.
Mr Samateh further revealed that there is a need for the establishment of disaster response structures at the community and village levels. These structures will work hand in glove with the regional committee for effectively executing of its duties, according to him. Disaster issues should be included in the school curriculum so that children, especially high school students, are able to sensitize their parents and provide guidance on disaster prevention in their various communities, Mr. Samateh added.