Reduced natural disasters' risks key goal: CEO
KABUL (Pajhwok): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday said damages from natural disasters had a direct impact on the country’s economy and managing disasters through proper planning was the government’s primary goal.
A dressing a conference in Kabul marking International Day of Natural Disasters Reduction, Abdullah said the new government had decided to initiate short, medium and long-term plans to reduce damages to infrastructure and livelihood from natural disasters.
He said disasters and their damages could be evaluated based on geographical and weather conditions. Areas usually vulnerable to floods needed a long-term management plan and residents from such areas should be taken to safe places, he added.
He said the international community had been assisting Afghanistan in eliminating violence and poverty, but the country also needed support to protect its citizens from nature’s fury.
“A large number of our people live in rural areas, their illiteracy complicates their problems and natural disasters have a direct impact on their economic situation,” he said.
CEO added managing natural disasters was among the new government’s primary goals. Collecting information from areas prone to natural disasters has been weak and the government has failed to avoid human losses, he said.
Abdullah said hundreds of Afghans, including elders, children and women lost their lives to natural disasters every year in different parts of the country.
Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) deputy director Mohammad Daim Kakar told the conference said the authority was planning to reduce damages from natural disasters in cooperation with other departments concerned and national and international organizations.
Deputy Rural Rehabilitation and Development Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak said 60 percent of Afghanistan residents remained vulnerable to earthquakes.
He added villages under threat from avalanches needed a huge budget to be rescued. “The structure of villages should be reformed and residents moved to safe places so that the government could better provide them services. Work in this regard has already been started,” Barmak added.
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