30
Thu, Mar
28 New Articles

DISASTER AT NADMO - Over 80% staff have no training in disaster management

General News

Until last Friday, only few Ghanaians in officialdom or privileged positions must have been aware that the National Disaster Management Organisation, the state institution specifically set up to manage disasters in the country, was itself a ‘national disaster’, with over 80% of its staff having no training in disaster management.

Until last Friday, only few Ghanaians in officialdom or privileged positions must have been aware that the National Disaster Management Organisation, the state institution specifically set up to manage disasters in the country, was itself a ‘national disaster’, with over 80% of its staff having no training in disaster management.

 

It was in response to this reality, first made public by the immediate past Director General of the organization, that Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, the new Director General, has given the assurance of seeing to the establishment of a training centre for the organistion.

Nana Agyeman Prempeh disclosed this Friday at the ceremony to officially take over from Brigadier General Francis Sanziri, who lamented the lack of training for NADMO staff, the woefully inadequate budgetary and resource allocation to the organization, as well as the obstructive attitude of some of the staff who always want the ineffective status quo to be maintained.

Responding to a charge from his predecessor “to steer NADMO to memorable heights”, the new DG expressed a strong determination to reposition the disaster management organization to efficiently and effectively carry out its mandate.

“Standing in readiness to provide swift and adequate response to persons and places in distress also means that we must have the capacity to do so. We intend to work very hard with the Council and the sector Ministry to ensure that we can have our own Training Centre, where we can continually train staff and volunteers for the huge task ahead.

“The Centre will also be used to coordinate education on disaster prevention and management for the benefit of the broader majority of the Ghanaian people,” Nana Agyeman Prempeh stated.

He added: “We can do better for ourselves and our people, especially at 60 years, and as our President rightly pointed out in his speech, we have, as a nation, run out of excuses at 60. It is time for NADMO to be in the news for only the right reasons, and I call on all of you to walk and work with me, in good and in bad times, so that we can together contribute our quota and more meaningfully to a new dawn of development and prosperity for Ghana and the Ghanaian people.”

He noted that NADMO must go beyond being a reactive organization, stressing: “managing disasters means not only providing relief support for distressed persons but also, and perhaps more importantly, doing all we can to forestall the occurrence of disasters in the first place.”

Touching on the issue of workers’ salary, which had been a challenge for sometime now, the new NADMO boss promised to work “closely with the incoming Chairman and Council to ensure that we see some improvement in that regard.”

With the Meteorological Services Department warning of strong rainfall in the coming weeks, Nana Agyemang-Prempeh assured that NADMO would collaborate with all the major stakeholders to find solutions to the hazards caused by these heavy rains.

He mentioned flashpoints such as the Kwame Nkrumah Circle/Interchange area, the Odo River and its surroundings, areas in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, Atonso Sofo line, Moshi Zongo, both in Kumasi, amongst many others, as some of the areas his administration would be particular about.

“We must also have a medium to long-term approach to removing these causes completely from our country, and I intend to attach utmost seriousness to this objective,” he promised.

He drummed home the point that NADMO, per its establishment, is an organization that should attend to the needs of all Ghanaians in times of disaster, irrespective of their political colours, adding that with this he expected a cordial relationship with the workers.

“We in the public sector understand our role to nation building as being the bricklayers, and whenever we are called upon, whether day or night, or whoever calls upon us, no matter their political colours, we understand only one language: service. I, therefore, look forward in the warmest of spirits to a good working union with everyone,” he stressed.

Nana Agyeman-Prempeh commended his predecessor, Brigadier General Francis Vib Sanziri, for improving the operations of NADMO within the past two years he took over the administration.

He also praised him for his excellent working relationship that always created a conducive atmosphere for sharing of ideas and effective cooperation.

“He and I have worked closely together in the last couple of days as part of the processes of handing over to me, and his indefatigable spirit has ensured a very smooth transition process. His rich sense of humour made the process even the smoother, and I cannot do more than express my heartfelt appreciation to him.

As he returns to the military to continue his patriotic service to our nation, I wish to take this opportunity to wish him well. My best wishes go with him and I hope he will leave his doors open to me at all times,” he said.

Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo disclosed that government had concluded plans to train all public sector workers to enable them understand their roles and operate effectively.

"The problem is that if you ask an average worker at NADMO ‘what do you do?’, his answer will be ‘I distribute rice and sugar’. That is not it," he said, adding: "It is very important that people working are trained specifically to have skills to do their work properly.”