Disaster risk reduction a cross-cutting issue: Likando

WINDHOEK: Director of Disaster Risk Management, Helen Likando at the Prime Minister’s Office, has stated that disaster risk reduction is a cross-cutting issue that demands collective efforts from all sections of society.

Likando spoke on Wednesday during the City of Windhoek’s belated observance of the 2023 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.

She noted that the day was designated in 1989 by the United Nations General Assembly as a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction, and to acknowledge the relentless efforts being made by individuals, institutions, governments, countries, and globally to reduce the negative impacts of disasters on our lives and livelihoods.

‘As we are gathered here today to commemorate the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction under the theme ‘Fighting Inequality for a Resilient Future’, we are being reminded that disasters do not discriminate, and their impacts often intensify disparities among our communities. This necessitates the
urgency of addressing all sorts of inequalities in order for us to realize an equal and more resilient Namibia,’ she said.

Likando emphasised that Namibia is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with the geographical setup exposing our communities to various natural hazards, such as recurrent droughts and floods. Other pertinent risks are highlighted in the National Risk Profile which the Office of the Prime Minister developed, with technical support provided by the University of Namibia.

‘Due to climate change, Namibia experiences more frequent and severe droughts, leading to decreased availability of water for human consumption, agriculture, and livestock,’ she said.

Windhoek Mayor, Queen Kamati, on her part, stated that the City of Windhoek has been celebrating this day since 2010 when the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction launched the Making Cities Resilient campaign.

‘Since then, we committed ourselves to observe this day annually, to underscore the importanc
e of reducing urban disaster risks which are exacerbated by the effects of climate change,’ she said.

She added that natural and man-made disasters such as extreme weather conditions, floods, wildfires, extended droughts, water scarcity, epidemics, chemical spillages, power outages, and socio-economic challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and homelessness impact Namibians on a regular basis.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency