Disasters have increased in the recent past and the frequency and their magnitude have also increased. Result from such occurrences has great consequences especially on the affected community. Humanitarian organizations are the first point of call when such disaster occurs. For effective results, mapping of elements that have been destroyed, are used to help save lives and property becomes the first priority. In the wake of such disasters, there are calls from all parts of the world including Ghana for institutions that coordinates and manages disaster to develop diagnostic tools to help identify hazards domain and vulnerable communities to come out with risk zones/map. The objective of such agencies is to put measures in place to minimize such disaster in an event of any unforeseen contingencies and to come out with emergency response systems that will contain such events. Thus, governments of Ghana (metropolitan, municipals, district and assemblies) are required be prepared and incorporate risk reduction strategies in their development plans to place them in the state of preparedness for any unforeseen disastrous event.
In the light of the above problem the UNDP in conjunction with the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) have teamed up to train various agencies that are involved in disaster management in Ghana. A team of stakeholders made up of representatives from the NADMO, Ghana Health Service (GHS), Campus based radio station (ATL FM), Air Force Base, (Accra) Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), National Ambulance Service (NAS), Disaster Volunteers Group (DVG), Ghana Education Service (GES) and Tema Metropolitan Assembly were given training in mainstreaming disaster management at the Sasakawa Center in the University of Cape Coast by the Directorate of Research and Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Facilitators from the Department of Geography and Regional Planning (DGRP) and experts from other departments, the participants were introduced to OSM mapping by UCC, Ghana YouthMappers.
In a three groups of six, each group uses the technology of OSM tracker during their field visit to map hazards area, vulnerable communities, risk zone from the study center to the Kakum Nation Park. OSM mapping was used and could be used to aid disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. According to the participants It is so far the best and easy way to help the realization of National and local Government’s policies on humanitarian assistance for disaster management.
The participants of the multidisciplinary stakeholders on disaster management were full of gratitude to Department of Geography and Regional Planning, the Directorate of Research and Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Special thanks go to co-director of the YouthMappers programme, Dr. Patricia Solís for given initial training to the UCC chapter advisor who is also spreading the gospel of OMS mapping within the global network of YouthMappers.
UCC YouthMappers once again extend our friendship to all YouthMappers chapters around the world who are contributing to mapping and making humanitarian organization work on disaster areas very successful.