Monday, January 9, 2012

Poor legislator - scientist relations to blame for African drought

David Muwanga in East African Business Week: Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Abdirahin Abdi has attributed the current drought in the Horn of Africa to lack of closer working relationships between Parliamentarians and scientists. "It is unfortunate that the drought we are experiencing in the Great Horn of Africa, which is the worst in over six decades, had long been predicted before it occurred, but nothing was done," he said.

"This is a sign of clear disparity between the scientists and legislators and we urgently need to close ranks and begin working together for the betterment of the communities", he said at two day consultative workshop for parliamentarians on disaster risk reduction (DRR) that was held in Geneva, Switzerland recently.

However participants at the meeting hailed Senegal and Uganda for the positive progress on disaster risk and reduction. According to Mr Alex Byarugaba, Uganda had developed and refined its policy on DRR and was headed towards instituting an Act of Parliament - a first in the EAC region in its quest to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

The objective of the meeting organized by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) was to review progress with regards to UNISDR's initiative on Parliamentarians in disaster risk reduction, exchange views on challenges that Parliamentarians encountered in promoting disaster risk and reduction and identify priorities for the 2012-2013 Action Plan.

It was attended by Parliamentarians from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Uganda, Senegal and the East African Legislative Assembly. He therefore called for building of new bridges between scientists, technocrats and Parliamentarians if meaningful advances in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster management were to be realized....

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