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Disaster Management Boss Snatches Media Group Meritorious Award

Mr. Henry O. Williams Receives Meritorious Award

March 1, 2019 will go down in history as the fateful day that the astute, tenacious, devoted and human-center Executive Director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Mr. Henry O. Williams broke down in tears after he was astonishingly recognized and certificated by a notable media advocated group as ‘Best Performed Executive Director of the Year 2018’.

Professor Williams, a long term environmentalist who in the 1990s ran  two Non- Governmental Organizations including the Pollution Control Association of Liberia (POCAL) and worked over 18 years with the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia, (EPA) revealed that the award was astonishing, not knowing people in the public especially the media were closely following his work over the years.

At a well attended honoring program held Friday March 1, 2019 at the head office of the NDMA at the intersection of Gurley Street and UN Drive in Monrovia, Mr. Williams who dedicated the award to his staff at the NDMA, said the fact that this is the fourth award in recent times from separate organizations means they have achieved greatly at the agency in a relative short period of time.

The NDMA boss, who lauded President George M. Weah for his preferment as head of the newly established agency, vowed that besides the on-going capacity building being conducted around the country by his institution, he would work assiduously to ensure that the agency is enviable in Africa.

“Although we are few, we have been working diligently and dedicated to our job, but that task is huge with news of disasters every now and then, so there is a need to beef-up our staff bearing in mind that we are first responders” Mr. Williams asserted.

After showering praises on international partners including the UNDP, UN Women, other UN agencies and volunteers, Professor Williams pointed out that besides the current cardinal focus of his agency which is handling issues of flooding, erosion, windstorm and fire disasters, he is recommending the addition of pest infestation  and epidemic conflict to be part of the mandate of the NDMA.

Mr. Williams who lately served the EPA as Focal Person on the Stockholm Convention on Organic Pollutants and the Multilateral Convention lauded government and other volunteers for the continuous support but however pleaded with local and foreign companies operating in the country like Sethi Brothers, Jetti Trading among others to follow the good example of firms like CEMENCO, CellCom GSM, who have aided the agency with materials intended for victims during disasters. “We need food, zinc, and building materials to take to victims of fire and other disasters across the country.

Speaking prior to the presentation of the award by the Assistant Secretary General of MADE, Ms. Wesue Symthe, the National Coordinator of the Media Alliance for Democratic Governance (MADE) Mr. Joseph F. Charlie explained that MADE as a pro-media group, with backing from its  Board of Advisors in December 2018 began to collection information on public figures in government and subsequently instituted a survey to select the outstanding performing government official for the year 2018, for its singular ‘Meritorious Award’.

Mr. Charlie: “We are gratified to inform you that the outcome of our two months survey revealed that YOU have marvelously performed since taking over as Executive Director of the newly established  National Disaster Management Agency and has therefore been selected to receive ‘MADE’s Best Performed Executive Director Award for 2018’.  

According to Mr. Charlie, reasons for which Mr. Williams and to a large extend his agency snatched the award include the training of Journalists In Grand Bassa Ghanta, and Nimba Counties, the holding of a two-day workshop On “Public Awareness And Education On DRR” for local county authorities, and the able representation of Mr. Henry O. Williams At the Regional Workshop For ECOWAS Members States On Understanding The Sendai Framework In Senegal.

He also mentioned the conduct of the Traditional Words Of Mouth Training Workshop Held in Ganta, Nimba County, the National Disaster Management agency 3-day retreat held in kakata, Margibi County to decentralize its work, the intervention made in 2018 when Monrovia and its environs as well as Buchanan were hit by heavy and fresh on our minds and “Fresh on our minds your intervention in the disaster in Nimba County with Illicit miner as you complied with a Presidential mandate to join the Ministry of Internal  Affairs in mobilizing technicians and reliefs for the disaster victims and families.

Mr. Charlie noted that it is no surprise that assistance have been coming from partners like the UNDP, UN Women among other groups to buttress the work of the agency.

He however told the honoree that as he receives the award, MADE as a professional journalist body will keep a close watch on his activities  to ensure that The National Disaster Management Agency  Develop A National Disaster Management Action Plan For Disaster Risk Management In Liberia As Well As A Guide For Emergency Response And Preparedness.

“We hope That Your Entity Will Continue The  On-Going Training Of Various Groups Of People Across The Country In Disaster Management And Related Issues  To Be Able To Prevent And Respond To Disasters Matters In Cases Of Emergency, AND WILL MONITOR TO ensure that you vision that
by the year 2030 Liberia will established measures to effectively prevent and reduce the impact of and recover from human induced and natural hazards is achieved.