General News Tue, 1 Jun 2010

Portuphy leads experts to learn more about handling disasters

Accra, May 31, GNA - Mr Kofi Portuphy, the Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation, (NADMO) is leading a seven-member disaster and emergency management delegation to a study tour in the Netherlands. The experts, who are part of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Management, would be away for five days. The tour is at the invitation of the International Center for Emergency Techniques, (ICET) and the Netherlands Government, under its 'EVD 2xplore program.'

Mr Portuphy told the GNA in an interview that the objective of the tour was to learn effective emergency communication skills in the management of disaster from the Netherlands and other European countries. The study would help to develop an action plan on how to upgrade the Ghanaian emergency response system based on the insights gained. The delegates would see how the Netherlands was preparing for risks related to flooding, delivery of related medical assistance and other interventions.

They were drawn from the Ghana Ambulance Service, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ghana National Fire Service, NADMO and the Ghana Representative of ICET. ICET is an international institute for risk, crises and disaster management based in the Netherlands. Its main area of expertise is disaster management with a special focus on the development of multidisciplinary emergency prevention and preparation, upgrading of response network and training of rescue professionals.

The NADMO Coordinator said the implementation of an ICET project would bring a rapid response to all emergency incidents to curtail the loss of lives and property, adding that the project was in line with the Better Ghana agenda.

Mr Portuphy noted that poor disaster and emergency management practices had contributed to the current environmental problems of global warming and climate change. He urged Ghanaians to adopt attitudes that would minimise man-made disasters and save lives and property. "Ghanaians should always remember to switch off all electrical gadgets before leaving their homes for work and do likewise when leaving the office," he advised.

According to Mr Portuphy, disasters had brought a greater challenge upon mankind, hence, the need for the government to intensify its efforts to mitigate the effects of fire out breaks, floods, epidemics and other natural disasters. "Most fire outbreaks in the country can be controlled if we become aware of the impact and prevent its occurrence." 31 May 10

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Source: GNA