The Effia Kwesimintim Municipal Assembly (EKMA) in conjunction with the National Disaster Management Organization, (NADMO,) has marked this year's International Disaster Day for Risk Reduction(IDDR) with the searchlight on Apremdo mainly due to an upsurge in disasters emanating from rampant fire outbreaks and flooding.
Apremdo, a suburb of Takoradi was chosen because it is the highest disaster-prone community in the Western Region, where illegal human practices such as sand winning pave way for perennial flooding.
The celebration, which was on the theme, "avoidance of disasters through prevention", was to sensitize the community on the need to secure certification from the Minerals Commission to undertake safer means of sand winning to build resilience.
Mr Kojo Acquah, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for EKMA, said good disaster risk governance was key to managing and reducing existing risks to avoid new risks.
The MCE said "EKMA, over the years had to deal with varieties of disasters ranging from floods, fire outbreaks, cholera, sand winning and the recent COVID-19" pandemic.
Acquah said to reduce the disasters, the Municipality demanded good disaster risk governance to reduce loss of lives and property.
"As a Municipality, we are putting measures to build disaster risk resilience.
There is an on-going building of storm drains and culverts in areas such as Appolo, Unicorn area, Takoradi Technical Institute, Asakae to reduce flooding within the Municipality".
He said the Assembly also planted trees in some schools to mitigate the effect of climate change citing Apremdo as one of the areas proned to flooding and environmental pollution due to sand winning.
He asked them to embrace good disaster risk governance by avoiding sand winning, building on water ways among other negative practices.
The Municipal Director of NADMO, Mr.
Henry Koffie said his outfit had undertaken massive education and sensitization within the year in the Municipality to abate the occurrences of flooding and fire and education programme at Apremdo would be replicated at Whindo within the Municipality.
He said indiscriminate littering of refuse in the environment choked gutters and appealed to the community to handle waste properly.
Mr Koffie attributed the high rate of domestic fires at EKMA to the use of old and faulty cylinders with fridges and other electrical gadgets in the same kitchen and reminded them to put their cylinder regulators off after cooking.
He appealed to market women who cook to endeavour to quench their fire properly before leaving and advised them to put off their electrical gadgets during power fluctuation.
The Principal Nurse in charge of the Apremdo CHPS compound, Madam Gloria Ankomah reminded the people that the COVID-19 pandemic was still around and dangerous more than malaria as it had claimed a lot of lives.
She said although early prevention by government reduced the spread of the disease, there was the need to continue educating them as it has not completely be eradicated.
The Chief of Apremdo, Nana Egya Kwamina XI who chaired the function, identified poor attitudes and habits such as illegal lumbering without replanting, sand winning from river bodies ,fire outbreaks and refuse dumps, which choked gutters as challenges confronting the town and appealed to NADMO and EKM to intensify the campaign on risk and disaster reduction.