Fowzie vows to strengthen disaster relief efforts….What about prevention?, By AGA Barrie

I must take this opportunity to thank my good friend Minister A.H.M.Fowzie on his appointment as Minister of Disaster Management. In my opinion this is one of the most important ministries as it covers all the ministries.

Generally when we talk about the disasters it is mainly natural calamities, such as floods due to heavy rain, earth slips, damages caused by cyclonic winds and other natural disasters but knowing the capability of minister Fowzie, he will cover much more than these obvious ones. He has correctly mentioned that even though for some disasters others are responsible he will take personal interest and responsibility to resolve such disasters. This is his specialty and I am sure he will be already planning the strategy to overcome the disasters caused by negligence such as clogged drains causing flood, dumping garbage causing hazard to health, inferior designs causing collapses of bridges and buildings, none maintenance of interceptor drains causing earth slips, leaking water mains causing potholes on roads, insufficient doctors to serve in government hospitals, lack of medicine to save human life, eradicating pests which kills plantation, excess failure in GCE(O) level, Derailment of trains due to non maintenance of tracks, improve the railways to reduce road traffic, tapping all the natural resources to produce additional power, reduce corruption to reduce cost of living and above all eradicate the hidden terrorists. I am sure there are lot more he will do to prevent than managing to overcome the disaster after it had occurred.

May Allah give you the courage and strength to prevent disasters than manage a disaster.

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One comment

  1. Disaster management
    AGA Barrie’s article reminded me of two recent disasters that drew world attention. The first was the Haiti earthquake which was an act of nature. The second was the oil platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico which has now turned into an oil slick disaster. This was a manmade accident that occurred about a month ago. Similar disasters have happened before and unfortunately they cannot be totally avoided. Efforts must therefore be directed more on controlling and minimizing the potential human suffering and environmental damage associated with such extreme events. This no doubt requires an effective disaster management system with emphasis on damage control. All disasters warrant a full investigation to identify causes and effects. There are lessons to be learned from each and every calamity. Good management strategies are necessary to prevent the repetition of past errors and deficiencies.  
    The damages caused by the Haiti earthquake were compounded by various factors, for example, poor urban planning, lack of stringent building codes and inspection, poor quality of construction materials, cultural beliefs like excessive reliance on divine protection, as well as lack of awareness and preparedness – it is known that Haiti sits on a geological fault and is prone to earthquakes. Above all Haiti is a poor country. Statistics show that poor countries tend to suffer more from natural disasters than the rich countries. The Gulf accident is an example of poor design and engineering, coupled with perhaps lax maintenance and safety, inadequate regulations, irresponsibility between government and industry, unpreparedness, non availability of technology to cope with deep sea repairs, lack of know how to neutralize oil spills, and of course possible shady business deals cannot be ruled out. Evidently, there is nothing strikingly new about these observations and the disasters themselves. What is worrying though is the absence of visible corrective actions being taken to reduce the tragic consequences of these accidents. 
    Effective disaster management requires good leadership, application of scientific methods and modern technology and a culture that respects expert opinion and facts established by Learned Bodies.
    Although I am not too sure about Mr. Fowzie's exact responsibilities in his new portfolio I wish him all the best.
    Rajindra C. Ratnapuli

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