26 November 2012

Liberia: GOL, Partners Conduct Workshop On Climate Change

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with UN development agency, UNDP, WFP and UNMIL have begun a series of regional training workshop on climate change and disaster management in the country.

The training, which will bring together 10 - 13 participants from the three county capitols - Tubmanburg, Saniquellie and Zwedru, at different schedules is aimed at empowering participants with knowledge that would build their resilience to disasters and mitigate climate change effects on their lives and livelihoods.

It is also intended to create awareness of climate change, disaster risks management and the increasing link between climate change adaptation and disaster risk management (for instance, what can individuals/communities do to reduce the impacts of disaster; how can disasters be prevented?

Measures to reduce or prevent disasters are in effect climate change adaptation measures). Going forward, as most major disaster will be climate induced; it makes perfect sense to start to integrate the two concepts now

Liberia like other countries in the sub-region of West Africa has suffered from incidences of disasters that emanate from flooding, windstorm, coastal erosion, landslide, or conflict, etc.

These forms of disasters, though not on a large scale (except for the 14 years civil conflict) serve as a reminder for national government and other state actors to take measures that build the resilience of communities to disasters (key objective of the HFA).

For instance, in 2007 the Bushrod Island community was hit by a flash flood that affected over 22,000 persons, while in 2010 an entire community was washed away by sea erosion in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The southeastern part of Liberia continues to suffer from severe windstorm which usually leads to destruction of homes and livelihoods of community members.

Given the level of vulnerability of Liberians to disasters there is an urgent need to provide capacity building trainings and awareness raising opportunities to strengthen the resilience of community members to cope with disasters (if not preventable), when they occur.

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