• Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Towards the establishment of a one-stop early warning system for the entire country “SAP”

ByWebmaster

Feb 9, 2024

GITEGA, February 9th (ABP) – The Ministry of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security has organized since Tuesday February 6, 2024, in Gitega (center of the country), in collaboration with the OCHA office to Burundi and the United Nations Africa Regional Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, a three-day meeting to launch the national initiative on early warning, in order to deal with emergency situations, particularly those linked to weather variations.

The chairperson of the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Natural Disaster Management, Brigadier General Anicet Nibaruta, said that the government of Burundi is committed to reducing the vulnerability of communities to disaster risks, but that it needs visible support from its development partners.

To that end, he indicated that in Burundi, a multi-risk early warning mechanism must be put in place instead of isolated mechanisms, even if the country records a lack of qualified personnel and adequate equipment to operationalize this area.

According to him, the lack of a national disaster risk reduction fund also undermines their interventions. He pointed out that this fund is provided for by the decree establishing, functioning and mission and organization of the Ministry of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security since 2020, but has not been followed up, so that other structures are functioning as they should.

                                                                                            View of the participants

Among the mechanisms available to the country, Mr. Nibaruta gave the example of IGEBU weather forecasts, the early warning mechanism at the level of the Ministry of Public Health or in the event of epidemics (messages are sent for the people to know what to do), as well as an early warning system linked to human security at the executive secretariat of the National Security Council.

He, in fact, indicated that all those mechanisms will be put together to create a single mechanism, as desired by the Secretary General of the United Nations.

The chairperson of the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Natural Disaster Management indicated that Burundi is among the 20 countries in the world most affected by climate change, according to the IOM World Office, and 2nd country in East Africa, after Ethiopia, which is launching this “SAP” initiative.

Note that to remedy weather variations, the country must determine activities to be carried out along four axes, namely understanding risk, forecasting, communication and dissemination as well as preparation and response to disaster risks, according to Mr. Nibaruta.