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Early Warning Systems Can Reduce Disasters   
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Failure of State Institutions to act on early warning systems accounts for most disasters in the country, the Programme Manager of Action Aid Ghana (AAG), Mr James Kusi-Boamah , on Wednesday said.

The Programme Manager, who made the observation during this year’s World Humanitarian Day celebration held in Bolgatanga, said the outbreak of cholera in Greater Accra and other parts of the country could have been stopped if the appropriate institutions had acted swiftly on the early warning signals.

The event was sponsored by the AAG and organized by NADMO,

He regretted that cumulatively, 6,018 cases, including 48 deaths had been reported in 32 Districts in five regions as a result of the cholera outbreak and mentioned that, often, the resources required to control disasters was huge as compared to preventive measures and said such huge resources could have been channeled to other development projects, if proactive preventive measures, based on early warning signals, were acted upon.

“The risk factors for cholera, which are quite prevalent and require urgent attention include poor sanitation, poor personal hygiene, poor food hygiene and poor environmental sanitation”, the Programme Manager stated.

He said the AAG believes that real and sustained development could be achieved if only people lived in clean environments, where good health and peace were assured and called on state institutions, including all Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) as well as food vendors, Market women and farmers try as much as possible to observe proper sanitation and personal hygiene.

Mr Kusi-Boamah impressed upon all the MDAs in the country to endeavour to operationalise the Emergency Preparedness Plan, adding that, every Assembly was expected to have a contingency and mitigation plan in place to deal with any eventuality.

The Programme Manager also stressed the need for Government to adequately resource the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) to enable it to carry out sustained education and respond swiftly to mitigate disasters.

The Regional Coordinator of NADMO, Mr Alfred Saawug said his outfit had embarked upon several educational programmes on disasters, including the Ebola outbreak, cholera, anthrax, the spillage of the Bagre dam and appealed to the general public to adhere strictly to the education given them.

The Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Daniel Syme entreated the Ghana Health Service and NADMO to intensify and sustain their education on personal hygiene and good sanitation practices, particularly on the way copses are handled and burials in homes.

As part of the celebrations to mark the day, activities including, radio sensitization on Ebola, Cholera, Floods and the spillage of the Bagre Dam and clean-up exercises was organised.

The Region used the World Humanitarian Day, which is a day set aside to dedicate and recognize persons who undertake humanitarian activities and relatives of those who had lost their lives working for humanitarian causes, to talk on topics such as the causes, effects and preventive measures of the Ebola Disease, Cholera, general environmental cleanliness and the causes, effects, preventive measures and management of floods.
Source: GNA

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