By Tersoo Zamber FRCN Abuja
The 8th Africa Regional Platform and the 7th High level meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction have opened in Nairobi, Kenya with the theme: “Towards Risk-Information Development for a Resilient Africa in a COVID-19 Transformed World”.
The events are organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the Kenyan government.
Countries on the continent will review the implementation of the Sendai Framework of action on disaster risk reduction in their respective domains.
The Sendai Framework of action is a global convention adopted by UN member nations to mitigate disasters between 2015 and 2030.
To this end, African counties converging on Nairobi are sharing experiences on the level and impact of implementation of the global policy document in their countries.
Nigeria for instance, has developed a National Disaster Response Policy in line with the recommendation of the Sendai framework.
Other activities carried out by the Nigerian government, spearheaded by the coordinating ministry and agency, the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, have reasonably mitigated disasters in the country.
The media is also playing key roles in the Nairobi platform, just as it has always done.
Aside from coverage, the media will also make a position statement at the regional platform.
The Leader of the Disaster Risk Reduction Network of African Journalists, DIRAJ, David Owino gave the indication at a virtual pre-conference orientation for journalists.
Owino pointed out that the 8th regional platform was the most important for journalists, coming at a time the world was grappling with COVID-19 pandemic.
He advocated the scaling up of DRR response by governments on the continent, while urging journalists to move from wanting to raise DRR news to actual raising of the news around DRR.
In her remarks, the Chief of Communications, Advocacy and Knowledge Management, United Nations for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR, Ms. Jeanette Elsworth appreciated the many challenges journalists face in covering DRR stories and emphasised the need for preventive reporting in enhancing the goal of DRR, while noting the trailblazing role of DIRAJ in DRR reporting.
The External Relations Officer, UNDRR-ROA, Ms. Adair Ackley called stakeholders to transform how to manage drought on the continent, adding that managing drought was a necessity.