Local Authorities urged to involve communities in fighting disasters

19 Sep 2018 16:00pm
SWAKOPMUND, 19 SEP (NAMPA) – Municipalities are not able to deal with natural disasters alone, hence the need for communities to get involved, Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD) Permanent Secretary (PS), Nghidinua Daniel has said.
“Saving community members’ lives is the local authority’s main responsibility and in order to be able to do this, they need to have the right infrastructure and personnel who are able to respond to all forms of emergencies, such as fires, accidents and other disasters,” Daniel said.
The PS said this in an exclusive interview with Nampa on Wednesday on the side-lines of the Basic Fire Fighting Training taking place in Swakopmund.
The workshop is attended by 20 firefighters and volunteers from 10 village councils from the southern parts of the country, who are being trained on basic firefighting and search and rescue, among others.
The training which is part of the ministry’s five-year strategic plan, is aimed at equipping local authorities and community members with the necessary skills to prevent or mitigate natural disasters.
According to Daniel, the government, through the line ministry, use local authorities that are well equipped with fire stations and engines such as Swakopmund, Windhoek and Walvis Bay to train and empower smaller unequipped ones.
“This is part of capacity building and we do not even need to bring in people from other countries to come and give this type of training.”
The one-week training which started on Monday, is also aimed at establishing local authority disaster risk management divisions in the smaller local authorities.