This, the group says will help to offer protection and respect the dignity of people affected by disasters.

Partially-submerged cars are pictured during heavy flooding in the city of VarnaDr. Etse Sikanku, lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon said here during the launch of a research work conducted by the group on how the local media have been covering disasters across the country under the theme, “Breaking news and disaster coverage in Ghana.

He observed that the Ghanaian media notwithstanding the fact that have been reporting disasters as and when they occurred in the country, reportage had often glossed over the dignity of the victims and the sensitivity of such occurrences.

Dr. Etse said, “There is the need for the media to look at the life profiles of victims whenever disasters strike, be more sensitive and treat them with dignity instead of being sensational.”

In order to avert violating the human dignity of victims in times of disasters, the university lecturer said, “The country and media houses must establish a policy on disaster reporting.”

The Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disaster says 794 disasters were registered between 2006 and 2014 claiming the lives of 71,450 people in Africa.

Similarly, since 2005, there have been 32 major natural and technological disasters in Ghana affecting 731,908 people and causing 1,279 deaths.

In terms of the degree of loss and severity of agony, the June 3 2015 fire and flood ranks topmost, at least in recent history.
Flooding from rains and a petrol station blast caused over 200 deaths, loss of property and livelihoods with about 46,370 people being affected, the International Federation of Red the Cross says.

The study established that the causal responsibility to the disasters in the West African country could be attributed to institutional failures.

The group, as part of its recommendations urged attitudinal change among the people, the need for authorities to put in place policy interventions as well as the need for state institutions to be proactive in discharging their duties.

The EGN is a civil society organization embracing all persons with adequate training and interest in discussing issues relevant to the proper management of Ghana’s economy.

The network also provides a platform for disseminating research findings and discussing their policy relevance. Enditem.

Source: Francis Tandoh


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