I’m focused to protecting Ghanaians from effect of earthquakes, other disasters – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated the commitment of his government to ensuring that the impact of seismic activities is mitigated in the event that they strike in the country.

According to President Akufo-Addo, while it is impossible for his government to prevent an occurrence of earthquakes and other disasters, it can help reduce its effect on the citizenry.

The President, who made the statement at the start of a day’s discussion on a committee report on Ghana’s readiness for earthquakes, stated the set-up of the committee forms part of plans to make the country resilient to earthquakes.

“I want to reiterate my total commitment as president to ensuring that government protects the entire citizenry from the effect of earthquakes and other disasters that might ravaged any part of the nation.

“Government has sufficiently demonstrated its determination to make the nation resilient to the effect of disasters and we will continue to equip NADMO and all response agencies to enhance their operational effectiveness,” he said.

To actualize this vision, President Akufo-Addo has directed the Engineer Council of the Ministry of Works and Housing to undertake an integrity audit of all public buildings in the country.

“The experts tell us the earthquake does not kill. However, it is the collapse of the structures that is responsible for the human and economic losses. This means that to avoid or reduce these losses we need to ensure that buildings including dwellings, dams and bridges are structurally competent and resilient to earthquakes of higher magnitude.

“Constructing well-engineered structure including dams and roads and retrofitting important public lifeline buildings such as hospitals and schools cannot be compromised. That is why I asked the Engineering Council of the Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure that comprehensive integrity audit of all public buildings and structures is conducted and government appropriately advised,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo also disclosed he has instructed the Ghana Geological Survey Authority to furnish the government equipment needed to keep track of earthquake-related activities in the country.

“I also urged the Ghana Geological Survey Authority to advise government on the logistical needs of the equipment required by the authority to undertake round the clock monitoring of seismic activities for urgent action”.

The President who accepted ‘wholeheartedly’ the report of the committee indicated the readiness of his government to put to work the recommendations captured in the report.

“I directed the Minister for the Interior and National Security to prepare a technical committee to ‘prepare a framework for the refocusing of Ghana’s earthquake preparedness and response’. The committee worked diligently and has produced an exhaustive report with recommendations.

“It has proposed an elaborate set of action plans for implementation to help build national resilience against the destructive effects of earthquakes. I accept the report and endorse fully the recommendations and attached action plan,” he furthered.

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