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Ex-president Advocates for Stronger Disaster Management

Ex-President Mahama Urges Government to Empower NADMO for Effective Disaster Response

by Adenike Adeodun

Former President John Dramani Mahama has recently made a compelling case for the government to bolster the capabilities of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO). In a meeting with leaders from the Tongu Traditional Areas, Mahama stressed the urgent need for NADMO to be sufficiently equipped, particularly at the district level, to effectively manage and respond to disasters across Ghana.

During their visit to Mahama’s office in Cantonments, Accra, the chiefs and representatives from Mepe, Sokpoe, Battor, Volo, and Torkor, led by North Tongu Constituency MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, expressed their gratitude for Mahama’s support during the September 2023 flood crisis. This crisis, caused by the spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong dams, severely impacted the lower Volta Basin communities.

Mahama, who is also the presidential candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), did not mince words in criticising the current government’s approach to disaster management. He labelled the efforts as sluggish and lacking sensitivity, emphasising that disaster relief is a non-partisan issue. His October visit to the affected areas, Mahama clarified, was to highlight the local populace’s hardships, seeking to spur both governmental and societal support rather than gaining political leverage.

According to a report by Graphic Online, the former president expressed his disappointment with the response of the New Patriotic Party government led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the disaster. He pointed out the need for a more proactive and empathetic approach to disaster management in the country.

In a move to promote transparency and accountability in the distribution of relief items, the North Tongu MP, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa, established a committee chaired by Prof. Emmanuel Netsey-Afedo. Mahama applauded this initiative, urging other state institutions to follow suit in adopting such commendable practices.

During the visit, Mr. Ablakwa lauded Mahama for his unwavering support and attention to the affected communities in the Tongu area and the broader Volta Region. He highlighted how the former president consistently ensured the efficient distribution of relief materials and monitored the recovery process closely.

To acknowledge his contributions, the chiefs and the MP presented a citation to Mahama, symbolising their appreciation for his involvement and support during the crisis.

Mahama’s call to action for NADMO underscores a crucial aspect of national governance: the ability to respond swiftly and effectively to natural disasters. His advocacy for a better-equipped and more responsive disaster management organisation resonates with the needs of communities prone to such calamities.

In an era where climate change is exacerbating the frequency and severity of natural disasters, Mahama’s emphasis on robust disaster management is not only timely but essential. His approach aligns with global best practices, showcasing a blend of empathy, leadership, and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by disaster-stricken communities.

As Ghana navigates the complexities of disaster management, the insights and suggestions offered by a former head of state like Mahama could provide a blueprint for enhancing national preparedness and response strategies. His advocacy serves as a reminder that effective disaster management is a collaborative effort, requiring commitment from both government and community stakeholders.

The call to resource NADMO adequately is more than just a policy suggestion; it’s a clarion call for a more resilient Ghana, ready to face and overcome the challenges posed by natural disasters.

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