The development of the National Disaster Risks Reduction Resilience Strategy of Liberia is a multi-sector collaboration led by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) with financial and technical support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
A Multi-disciplinary Assessment Team (MAT), composed of about 30 representatives from respective line ministries, agencies, and committees (MACs) was constituted to develop, refine, and undertake broad consultation on the strategy. The team is divided into four technical working groups.
“In addition, over 70 participants from diverse range of over 30 organizations came together to develop key inputs to the strategy,” T. Abraham Tumbey, Manager for National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Project at UNDP said.
According to Tumbey, the priority actions of the strategy were identified through above consultations, building on the draft 2018-2022 national DRR action plan prepared by NDMA.
“The global, regional and national disaster risk reduction, climate change and development frameworks were reviewed to inform the strategy formulation process,” he added.
Tumbey also disclosed that the formulation of the Strategy started with the delineation of hazard-prone areas and the identification of risk hotspots, while conducting a systematic stocktaking of the national resilience baselines.
“Over the course of 11 months (from October 2018 to August 2019), the MAT, with the guide and support from a consultant team, held three national stakeholder workshops and three MAT working sessions, and conducted extensive stakeholder consultation meetingsto identify priority actions towards risk reduction. By August 2019, the zero draft of the Strategy was prepared by the consultant team and submitted for review,” he disclosed.
Technicians from line government ministries and agencies, non-governmental organizations and representatives of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Liberia National Police and the Boy Scout are expected to review the draft strategy from October 22-24, 2019 at a workshop organized in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County by UNDP and NDMA.
The review and finalization process is proposed to consider a four step process including review by and inputs from Multi-disciplinary Assessment Team, review by and inputs from national stakeholders, review by and inputs from higher level and the official endorsement of the strategy.
Jonathan A. Wordsworth, Manager for Risk and Early Warning at the National Disaster Management (NDMA) who also served as one of the local consultants on the project said UNDP with support from Green Climate Fund has been supporting the NDMA with several projects including the development of the National Disaster Risks Reduction Resilience Strategy of Liberia and the Disaster Data Base at the NDMA.
He disclosed that the several institutions have been supporting the development of the National Disaster Risks Reduction Resilience Strategy and that there has been several stakeholders visitation, several technical working sessions and sharing and inputs in the document.
According to him, the forum in Buchanan is intended for technicians and stakeholders to look at the first draft of the strategy and see where inputs are needed to ensure the finalization of the national document.
Mr. Wordsworth indicated that disaster risk management requires collective approach if must be effective and noted that this is why several institutions have been brought on board.
Assistant Mines and Energy Minister for Planning and Research, Johnson S. Willabo Jr. lauded the international consultant and local consultants for the document, which according to him is necessary to guide government and others in the sector.
Assistant Minister Willabo said disaster has been a very key issue that must be addressed in order to minimize the loss of lives and properties.
“Throughout generation you find out that disaster has always happened, but it is the ability of man to be able to strategize to ensure that when disaster happened you are able to be proactive,” he said.
“It is good that we are here today to put together this strategy that will guide stakeholders. This will enable us to prepare. We have and will continue to have disaster whether is it human induced. These kinds of disaster will happen no matter what you do so your preparedness to withstand disaster is key,” Assistant Minister Willabo explained.