The Deputy Executive Director for Operation at the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Augustine Tamba says the recent scale and magnitude of coastal erosion, floods and windstorms across the country demands collective actions to avert bigger disaster in Liberia.
Many homes in coastal areas across the country including the Borough of New Kru Town, the Township of West Point and Buchanan City have been affected by erosion, while heavy deluges caused by rain waters have also affected many communities in Monrovia and its environs in recent times.
Mr. Tamba assured that the NDMA, working in partnership with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia and other stakeholders are determined to ensure that under the UNDP National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Project, the government will develop an Integrated National Risk Assessment and National Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Strategy which is important for disaster reduction and response in the country.
Tamba give the assurance at the weekend in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County during the launch of a National Disaster Risks Assessment. The launch of the Assessment was followed by the hosting of a National Inception workshop. The Initiative is funded by the Green Climate Fund.
The National Inception Workshop for the launch of the National Disaster Risks Assessment is being implemented by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The National Risk Assessment process, led by an international consultant and supported by a multidisciplinary team of experts from government entities, is intended to fill the knowledge gaps with regards to DRR Strategies and operational guidelines in the response to disasters.
Liberia is exposed to threats of natural hazards and climate related risks including floods, windstorms, wildfire and coastal erosion.
The threats being faced are likely to worsen with climate change, which will have significant impact on the livelihoods of local communities.
There is a need for collective partnership and coordination amongst state and non-state agencies in executing the assessment findings”, EPA Executive Director, Nathaniel T. Blama said.
Speaking on behalf of EPA Executive Director, Nathaniel T. Blama, EPA’s Remediation Analyst stressed the need for collective partnership and coordination amongst state and non-state agencies in executing the assessment findings.
Daoda S. Carlon pledged the agency’s commitment to the National Risk Assessment and indicated that the activity is important for the developing of hazard profile and mapping of disaster hotspots in the country.
E. Abraham Tumbey Jr, UNDP NAPs Project Manager recounted the support UNDP has provided NDMA over the years, including the development of the National Disaster Management Policy and the setting up of the institution from the National Disaster Relief Commission.
Mr. Tumbey emphasized the importance for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into national and sectoral development plans with the involvement of broad stakeholders including policy makers, communities, research institutions and civil society.
He noted that because of the strong link between climate change and disaster risks, the partnership between EPA and NDMA offers enormous potential for disaster risks reduction in Liberia.
Mr. Tumbey further explained that UNDP remains committed in working with stakeholders in Liberia in order to achieve the country’s development goals as well as the SDGs.
Stakeholders representing government’s line Ministries, Agencies and Commissions from nine counties including Maryland, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, Bong, Margibi, Grand Cape Mount, Sinoe, Lofa and Nimba attended the workshop.
Government institutions included National Public Health Institute, EPA, Ministry of Defense, Liberia National Fire Service, Liberia National Police, Forestry Development Authority, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection, Ministry of Mines & Energy, Liberia Scout Association, University of Liberia, Ministry of Public Works among others.