The founder of Resilience Action Fund, a UK-based NGO has commended the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) for the conscious efforts it has initiated with a call on nations to shift from managing disasters to reducing risks.
Whiles commending the UN body for the initiative as part of the Sandai Framework, Aris Papadopoulos says there is more the UNDRR can do to mitigate disasters on a global scale.
In an interview with Joy News Latif Iddrisu at the sideline of GP2019 in Geneva Switzerland, he observed that “globally the missing piece is the consumer; the people who are affected the most, the people who own the homes, who are occupying the homes. The small business people who have a small establishment, that is the missing piece today”.
According to him, when disasters strike the biggest losses are in people’s homes and also small businesses.
He is, therefore, suggesting a lot of the talk and drive on mitigating and building resilience about large business facilities, infrastructure and public facilities, although some of these facilities are the strongest facilities built at the highest standard.
He wants the focus to be on homes built by low-income workers arguing that the biggest economic losses have been in private homes “who unfortunately are unable to build a house or small business facilities resilient enough to withstand and mitigate disaster.”
“But that reality has more often than not been relegated to the background and the founder of Resilience Action Fund, Aris Papadopoulos says it makes economic sense to educate the consumer on the issue of resilience.
He also expressed disappointment in the consumer for not appreciating the “importance of having a safe home when we need to do that.”
“It is more important than how much our entertainment system we have in our houses. Let’s put our money first in the resilience and the safety of our house before we do anything else”.
With haphazard and unsafe development taking place at fast speed in Ghana and some other parts of the world, the private contractor who holds membership in the UNDRR admonished home buyers to ”save your life and not your investment and possession by investing in DRR informed houses and business facilities.”
Mr Papadopoulos said he is “disappointed in the absence of the economic sector here because they are directly involved in the development process that creates the risks and that is where the solution can be found”.
There has been a lot of talk about the hazard at GP2019 and a lot of mention as well in the 2019 Global Assessment Report which is important.
But Aris Papadopoulos wants priority placed “to make the asserts (homes and small businesses), that fall in the way of disasters stronger since we cannot control mother nature”.