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Public assistance is vital in Disaster Management

Public assistance vital in Disaster Management

"Protection of human lives, public properties and the environment from consequence of disasters giving prior notices with effective dealing, the aim of Disaster Management", said Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressing his views during a TV interview on last Monday (1st July) participating at the 'Doramadalawa' programme aired by the Independent Television Network (ITN).

Duties and responsibilities of the security forces in disaster management was the theme of the programme.

Further elaborating Mr Rajapaksa said that," prearrangement is the main fact in this process and many such incidents has been dealt very successfully by the Disaster Management Centre in association with the security forces, civil defence force and police during the past".

Speaking on two main segments of disasters, natural disasters and man made, Secretary Defence said that ". People are aggravating disaster situations by erecting illegal structures on marshy lands and dumping garbage in culverts and drainage lines"." It's impractical to maintain and control bad habits merely through the authorities, hence the commitment of the society is very vital" he added.

He also said that, "owing to the dredging and developing the prevailing canal and waist water system, cities have become green and clean being eye catching locations automatically. "Diverting the swage pipe lines of illegal shanties erected on valleys of canals are one of the main hindrance and not only them selves, but also endanger the lives of the troops engaged in cleaning." he added. Mr. Rajapaksa urged that people and the organizations should act in a rather responsible manner in disaster prevention.

Responding to a question raised on the state of sustainability of developed nations in a huge disaster situation, Secretary Defence said that, "in such situations disaster management plays an immense role in reducing the damage while protecting lives". "Meanwhile, training sessions are also conducted to alert public on ways of evading disasters giving them a prior notice". He also said.

Recalling the catastrophic Tsunami incident Secretary Defence emphasized that, "despite the declared 'Danger Zone' people have built houses and some have obstructed the ways of evacuation". "It is much convenient to implement teaching programmes, if people join hands without criticizing the government led programmes". He said.

The Commander of the Navy, Director General of the Disaster Management Centre, Director General of the Department of Meteorology, Director General of Sri Lanka Coast Guard and senior officials the three forces were also present.

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