Disaster Management Experts Call For Global Collaborations
Ministers and Heads of Delegation responsible for disaster and risk reduction across the world have called on African leaders to engage in robust national and international cooperation at all levels to reduce disaster on the continent.
The call was made at the Seventh High-Level Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction, during the just concluded Eighth Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, held virtually in Nairobi, Kenyan capital.
Robust Local Strategies
Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), emphasised the need for robust local strategies for DRR, international cooperation, good planning, and competence.
“Conflict combined with natural hazards, throws the complication to work of DRR in many countries in Sub Sahara Africa. responding to these humanitarian needs to countries like Ethiopia underlining how important it is to have in place a robust national and local strategies for DRR supported by strong risk governance including well resource natural disaster management agencies, international cooperation and support for DRR strategies in climate change adaptation depends on prove of a clear vision, good planning, competence and coordination with in and across all sectors.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, Stephen Jackson, stressed on the efforts to address complex development challenges that are outpaced by disasters, calling for enhanced regional cooperation to build a multidimensional resilience strategy in Africa.
“There is need for reflection with purpose and reengineered efforts so we require renewed commitment from African member states, regional blocks, development partners, private sectors, civil society organizations and all stake holders coming together to alleviate Disaster Risk Reduction and resilience efforts. That means thinking about improving governance, policies climate negotiation and strategies, strengthen capacity and partnerships, collaborations within and beyond boarders, improving finance, making use of insurance mechanism to insure against disaster and improving our economic and environment resilience,” he said.
Curbing The Effects
According to the Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Disaster Risk Reduction demands a holistic approach to curbing the effects, highlighting the strategies adopted by IGAD to address the impact of disaster on the continent.
“Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a common agenda that demands collective efforts in the spirit of solidarity, this therefore calls for coherence in policy implementation between the Sendai framework, parish agreement and the SDGs,” he stated.
IGAD has advocated for the development of responsive policies, strategies and actions plans for DR management to align it’s service to the priorities of the Sendia framework for DRR.
“IGAD has put in place the regional frame work for the declaration of climate change and DR management. Our priority is as IGAD is to implement the regional strategy and achieve the DRR summit,” he said.
According to the Leader of the Disaster Risk Reduction Network of African Journalists, (DIRAJ), David Owino, “the 8th regional platform was the most important for journalists, coming at a time the world was grappling with Covid-19 pandemic. There is need to scale up Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) response by governments on the continent, journalists need to move from wanting to raise DRR news to actual rising of the news around DRR. Over the years, journalists have showcased solution based stories on how countries have solved DRR issues, for others to borrow a leaf.”
Nigeria on its part developed a National Disaster Response Policy in line with the recommendation of the Sendai framework.
Other activities carried out by the Nigerian government, spearheaded by the coordinating ministry and agency, the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, have mitigated disasters in the country.
The 8th Africa Regional Platform and the 7th High level meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction in Nairobi, Kenya with the theme: “Towards Risk-Information Development for a Resilient Africa in a Covid-19 Transformed World” was organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the Kenyan government.