Posted by: africanpressorganization | 14 July 2011

EAC moves to reduce risk of disasters in the region


 

 

EAC moves to reduce risk of disasters in the region

 

ARUSHA, Tanzania, July 14, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The EAC and the African Union Commission (AUC) are working out modalities to establish a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) platform through which the region aims to lessen the occurrence of natural and man-made disasters.

 

Officials from the EAC Partner States, the AUC and EAC Secretariat have convened in Arusha for a workshop that runs from 13-15 July to discuss the operation of the proposed platform. The three-day regional workshop will also consider ways to strengthen national platforms within the Partner States.

 

The workshop which has brought together mayors of different cities to share their experiences in reducing urban risks in their respective cities, will also be used by experts to strengthen existing sub-regional Disaster Risk Coordination mechanisms; accelerate the implementation of the Africa Regional DRR Strategy and improve on joint planning and partnerships between EAC and other institutions like the African Union Commission (AUC), United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.

 

Opening the workshop the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Productive and Social Sectors) Mr. Jean Claude Nsengiyumva noted that the workshop had come at an opportune time when the EAC region is becoming more and more predisposed to both natural hazards and man-made disasters.

 

“The East Africa region is prone to natural hazards such as floods, droughts, landslides, strong winds, lightening and their secondary impacts of diseases and epidemics. Drought and floods are the most frequent disasters in the region,” Mr. Nsengiyumva said.

 

He added that that as people in Africa leave rural areas for cities in search of better livelihoods, they set up in informal settlements (slums), thereby increasing urban risks of fires and disease epidemics among others.

 

Mr. Nsengiyumva further noted that with this current trend, it is estimated by UN Habitat that 80% of Africa’s population will be living in cities by 2050, which will in turn accelerate urban risks through constrained resources availability and other vulnerabilities.

 

In this context the Deputy Secretary General said EAC was cognizant of the need for an integrated approach in policy formulation and programming for disaster risk reduction and climatic change adaptation and mitigation, and disclosed that EAC has already developed a Disaster Risk Reduction conceptual framework with a clear roadmap for becoming a Region of Excellence (RoE) in disaster risk management.

 

“I want to assure you that we will continue collaborating with you in disaster risk management activities to make the EAC region and Africa at large a safer place to live in,” Mr. Nsengiyumva said.

 

His Worship the Mayor of Arusha Mr. Gaudance Lyimo pointed out that one method of fighting disasters or reducing risks is to share information in a timely manner and cascade this information to those who need it most, that is, the vulnerable communities. He added that the information and experiences generated from the forum would be useful in future planning and development of cities in East Africa.

 

Among those attending the workshop are; representatives from the African Union Commission, the mayors of Arusha and Moshi (Tanzania), Kisumu (Kenya), Bujumbura (Burundi); representatives of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Regional Office for Africa (UNISDR), representatives of the World Bank and National Focal Points from EAC Partners States.

 

Notes to Editors

 

•    Africa produced the Regional Africa Disaster Risk Reduction in June 2004 in collaboration with UNIDSR and NEPAD. In December 2005 the Programmes of Action for the implementation of the Africa Strategy (2005-2010) was developed adopted at the First African Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Addis Ababa and subsequently endorsed by a Decision of the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union.

 

•    A revised framework (2010-2015) aligned to the Millennium Development Goals and the Hyogo Framework for Action was adopted by the Second Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in April 2010, and endorsed by the Executive Council of the African Union at the January 2011 Summit.

 

•    The 4th EAC Development Strategy also emphasizes the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Africa Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. A Climate Change Strategy and a Climate Change Master Plan to implement the Policy have been developed.

 

•    The aim of the Strategy and the Extended Programme of Action for the implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is to contribute to the attainment of sustainable development and poverty eradication through substantial reduction of social, economic and environmental impacts of disasters on the African continent.

 

•    The overall goal of the Extended Programme of Action (2006-2015) is a substantial reduction of social, economic and environmental impacts of disasters on African people and economies, thereby facilitating the achievement of the MDGs and other development targets in Africa.

 

SOURCE 

East African Community (EAC)


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