Investing money for checking disasters will help in reducing loss: Kiren Rijiju

New Delhi: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said that investing money for checking disasters will help in reducing the loss and impact of natural calamities.

“We invest so much money in reconstruction. If we invest earlier, we would save one-third of total money that we spend after disasters,” Rijiju said while launching “World Disaster Report 2016” by the Indian Red Cross (IRCS,) along with its global partners International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

“Earthquake, Tsunami cannot be prevented, but we can prevent ourselves from direct impacts of natural disasters,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Rijiju said.

“Structured measures and use of science and technology can reduce the impact of disasters,” he added.

He also said that investing in resilience saves both lives and money.

Giving an example of technology in tracking a recently developing cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, which was going to hit the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coasts, he said that thousands of lives were saved by evacuating people from those areas before the cyclone struck the coasts.

Rijiju also said that involvement of local leadership is the key to success in combating the effects of disaster, as the different communities have different methods and skills to deal with the challenges and handle the effects.

“We can reduce disaster risks effectively only if we join hands to work together with all stakeholders. The Indian Red Cross has an important role to play in this regard,” he said.

Earlier in the day, he also addressed a press conference to brief the media about the just-concluded “Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction 2016”.

Terming the Conference as “eventful”, he said that politics should be kept aside while dealing with disasters.

“Political issues should not become hindrance while dealing with disasters anywhere in the world,” the Minister of State for Home Affairs told the media.

On being asked if India would help Pakistan in case of any disaster in the neighbouring country, the minister said there is no politics involved when one deals with such situations.

He also informed that a secretary and not a minister represented Pakistan at the three-day conference held here from November 3.

The minister also termed the conference a “global effort” and said it was a group of Asian countries, but the nations involved are ready to share their expertise and resources with any country in the world.

The conference also outlined the need for applying new scientific and technological tools and knowledge for disaster risk reduction and urged the strengthening of regional cooperation for implementation of the Sendai Framework in Asia, he said.

The minister informed that the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction 2016 was one of the biggest in the region, as 51 countries, nine United Nations organisations and a large number of NGOs participated in it.