Regional Law to Deal with Disasters in Pipeline

Kenya Red Cross staff carry the remains of a victim of the Nakumatt inferno. Photo/JAMES NJUGUNA/NMG
Kenya Red Cross staff carry the remains of a victim of the Nakumatt inferno. Photo/JAMES NJUGUNA/NMG

The East African Legislative Assembly is working on a Bill to provide a legal framework for intervention and assistance for people affected by climate change and natural hazard-related disasters, a senior EAC official has said.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors Hon. Jesca Eriyo told the 4th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Tuesday the Private Member’s Bill also aims to protect the natural environment through integration of comprehensive disaster risk reduction and management practices in the Community.

The 19 to 24 May 2013 forum held in Geneva, Switzerland on the theme “Invest today for a safer tomorrow” has brought together over 3000 senior government representatives, intergovernmental organizations, scientists, researchers, practitioners, UN organizations, specialized institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations to share experiences and formulate strategic guidance and advice for the implementation Hyogo Framework of Acton (HFA).

Speaking during the HFA consultations of the intergovernmental organizations Hon. Jesca Eriyo, told delegates the EAC has finalized development of a comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Strategy whose objective is to accelerate the implementation of the HFA and Africa Regional DRR strategy hence building resilience to disasters for the people of East Africa.

“Meeting the challenges of the disaster management cannot be solely a Partner State’s government initiative. EAC will therefore pursue a collaborative approach by all relevant stakeholders including governments, intergovernmental organizations, communities, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and development partners to effectively address issues of DRR,” Hon. Eriyo remarked.

The Deputy Secretary General stressed the need to engage with the private sector, youth and the academia to bridge the communication and awareness gaps in disaster risk management, strengthened partnerships to develop more capacities for DRR and increase focus and investment in urban disaster risk management and also the need of governments to view DRR as an investment rather than a cost.

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction expects to influence how the existing international agreement on disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015), is revised in the run-up to the 2015 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which will be held in Japan. The EAC Secretariat is represented by Hon. Eriyo, who is accompanied by the Principal Environment and Natural Resources Officer and the EAC DRR Advisor.

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