Liberia: House Concerns About Continuous Fire Disaster

Fire damages a busy shopping district in Monrovia (file photo)

The recent wave of fire disaster in Liberia has caught the attention of members of the House of Representatives thus leading to the citation of heads of the institution.

Of recent, the nation has mourned the deaths of citizens who felt prey to fire disasters in various communities and at different points in time. Based on this, the House of Representatives saw the need to grant a request from one of its members to cite the National Disaster Management to appear before full Plenary.

The appearance of the NDA was triggered by a communication from District # 4 Representative, Michael Thomas, the lawmaker who just witnessed the death of five of his citizens [a family of five] to fire disaster.

The Houses Committee Chairman on Judiciary, Atty. Thomas in his communication highlighted the function of the National Disaster Management as proscribed in Section 2.3 of the Act that created the institution.

He told his colleagues that the National Disaster Management Agency Act provides in pertinent part that, the primary function of the Agency shall include, "Ensuring the implementation of the National Disaster Management Action Plan for disaster preparedness and the national environmental policy, the national food security and nutrition strategy, the national health policy, and other policies as related to disaster management adopted by the Government of Liberia, which we think during the Non-Emergency (Pre-Disaster) Phase, the Emergency/Disaster Phase, or the Post Disaster Phase shall be initiated, coordinated and implemented in the interest of promoting and contributing to the successful response of the government to disaster victims."

The District Four lawmaker said he was concerned about the effectiveness of the entity as it relates to identifying with victims during crisis that contravenes the very laws that regulate the Agency with no justification.

Rep. Thomas highlighted a series of disasters across Liberia especially Monrovia pointing to fire disasters, water/flood disasters, and excessive windstorms, which he said have damaged several properties and also claimed precious lives of peaceful citizens and residents of Liberia.

In his deliberation, Atty. Thomas craved the indulgence of Plenary to make the Executive Director and the senior management team of the National Disaster Management to appear before them and provide reasons why the agency has not effectively performed their mandate overtime as it relates to identifying with victims of disasters and also provide a clear roadmap of implementation of their strategy and outlines of operational challenges encountered over the past years.

Plenary in its wisdom thought it prudent to invite the Disaster management team before full that august body to provide their justification.


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