In an address to mark the occasion, Special Advisor in the Ministry of National Security, Dr. Norgen Wilson, told residents that as we continue through the two remaining months of the hurricane season, we must be vigilant and do all that is necessary to reduce the impact of weather systems on both life and property.
The government advisor went on to state that the recent days of continuous rainfall is a timely reminder and clarion call for us as a country, to re-think and re-strategies our attitudes and approaches to disaster reduction.
Dr. Wilson is of the view that a great deal of success is determined by our ability to inculcate disaster risk reduction in communities, the success of which our country’s existence depends.
He said that government’s role must include improving the ability of vulnerable communities to prepare for, survive and rebuild homes and livelihoods after natural disasters.
“In our current environment of economic challenges and other hardships, we often relax into complacency…and when we fare well for any significant period, we simply forget that we remain at the mercy of a variety of hazards, such as floods, earthquakes, storms and volcanic activity”, said Dr. Wilson.
The Special Advisor to the Ministry of National Security is also of the view that it is the less fortunate and the poorer ones in our society who are most vulnerable with regard to disaster impact. He said that their lives are highly susceptible to shocks and disruptions caused by climate change or natural disaster, conflicts and the spread of infectious diseases.
He said that Disaster Risk Reduction must therefore be a priority in consideration of our national development but it cannot succeed on its own. The advisor is confident that national development must contain sound mitigation policies, plans and practices, along with aggressive sustainable development policies.
In 1989 the United Nations designated the second Wednesday in October, as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction.
It was intended to be observed annually, between 1990 and 1999, then in 2001, the UN decided to maintain the observance as a critical component of the promotion of global culture of natural disaster reduction, comprising disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
Disaster Risk Reduction is a systematic approach to identifying, assessing and reducing the risk of hazards.
It aims to reduce socio-economic vulnerabilities to disasters and addresses the environmental.
The UN General Assembly by consensus, at end of the 3 day summit, held in New York, in September, 2010, adopted the outcome document of the Millennium Development Goals, which includes an action plan for implementation by the year 2015
The document underscores the significance of disaster risk reduction, which encompasses, poverty and hunger reduction, freedom, peace and respect, for all human rights, including the right to development the rule of law, gender equality, and an overall commitment to just and democratic societies for development.