Civil society organizations should engage in early action planning for disasters and other crises

The National Focal Point in Ghana for the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), Ms. Grace Commey, called on civil society organizations and other stakeholders to engage in planning for early actions to minimize the impact of extreme weather and climate events.

She said so during a workshop hosted virtually by the network on Tuesday, April 26, for civil society organizations and other stakeholders in Ghana.

The workshop was organized to train civil society organizations and other stakeholders on “early action planning” in the event of a disaster.

During the workshop, she recommended that contingency planning be a prerequisite for governments and humanitarian organizations to ensure rapid and effective assistance to those most in need, both upstream and in the event of a disaster.

However, she identified several factors that make advance preparation difficult for communities and civil society organizations.

These factors include; difficult access to know-how to use available forecasting information to access and predict the future, close stakeholder involvement which limits company engagement, limited use of community micro-grants to enable community responses to disasters and finally, the weakness or non-existence of emergency planning platforms.

She also recommended innovative approaches that foster local engagement in addressing the root causes of disasters and long-term crises. The first is the implementation of early warning systems to stimulate early actions and contingency plans.

She said that “forecasting experts should be engaged at the local level to support the process of developing local impact tables and defining potential trigger indicators based on locally available information, including warning systems. early community”.

This, she said, will identify and strengthen gaps and weaknesses in forecasting services in coordination with relevant agencies.

She also recommended that contingency planning, whether at the national, local or community level, be an inclusive and participatory process that engages all first responders. According to her, this will encourage ownership and responsibility among community members and other stakeholders.

This will also ensure effective communication of plans and will also help consider available capacities for early community-led action and response.

Ms. Grace Commey called for the establishment of collective cash transfer mechanisms for local preparedness, anticipatory action and disaster response. She also called for the strengthening and establishment of local platforms connected to national platforms.

She foresees a partnership in the near future between the Ghana chapter of the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) and Diakonie Katastropenhife to implement such initiatives in Ghana.

By Martha Osei-Bobie

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