Following a three-day intensive workshop on earthquake preparedness held at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) in Accra on Monday March 12, 2018, the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in collaboration with its stakeholders and development partners from the US Africa Command and the North Dakota National Guard on Monday, May 7, 2018 held a brief but colorful opening ceremony at the NADMO Headquarters to commence the full scale simulation exercise.
Welcoming the participants, the Director General of NADMO, Hon. Eric Nana Agyemang Prempeh expressed gratitude to the US Embassy/ US Africa Command and the North Darkota National Guard for their enormous support to see this exercise materialize. He said with NADMO’s mandated to coordinate and manage disasters to build a disaster resilient nation, this partnership and collaboration with stakeholders here in Ghana and other International Development Partners will help make NADMO a leading front with regards to disaster management on the continent. This exercise he said is to assure the entire nation on the readiness of NADMO and its stakeholders on rapid response should an earthquake occur.
Speaking at the Ceremony, the Deputy Minister for the Interior Hon. Henry Quartey in a speech read on behalf of the Sector Minister, Hon. Ambose Dery noted “There is no other option than to prepare ourselves and to build the resilience in order to withstand future earthquakes which would not grind us to a total stop. I see this exercise as a bold step towards an unpredictable but real journey to responding to an earthquake disaster”. This he believes is a step in the right direction.
The Defence Minister Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, also present at the opening ceremony, in a remark said “this simulation exercise is something we should all be happy about since it will sharpen the skills of our disaster management institutions”. He further said the Ghana Armed Forces will participate effectively and will be ready to assist NADMO with every equipment needed to make its operations effective. He added that as part of government’s effort to support the Ghana Armed Forces with equipment’s, they are sure to place one Helicopter at the disposal of NADMO to help effective operations.
The exercise geared towards testing the capabilities of various agencies in terms of response should an earthquake occur in Ghana, will include representatives from the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Ambulance Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Police Service, Geological Services Department and the Information Services Department amongst others. The exercise which will take place at the Ohene Djan’s Sports Stadium, Accra is expected to last for a week.
Also present at the opening ceremony were, the Chief Director of the Ministry for the Interior, Madam Adelaide Annor Kumi, UN Resident Coordinator, Christine Evans Klock, Chairman of the Governing Council, Brig Gen (Rtd) Oppong Kyekyeku, Chief Executive Officer of the National Ambulance Service (NAS), Professor Ahmed Zakariah as well as representatives from the various security agencies.