In order to help the Assam State Disaster Management Authority to strengthen the information mechanism for disaster management in the State, Dr Richard Garfield, Professor of Public Health at Columbia University and Associate of the National Centre for Disaster Preparedness in the United States, visited Assam recently.
With a vast international experience of working in the area of need assessment during large-scale disasters, Dr Garfield is also a consultant to the UN Inter Agency Standing Committee (UNIASC) on improving needs assessment in the wake of disasters.
Dr Garfield’s visit to Assam is an outcome of the dialogue that had been initiated by the Assam Disaster Management Authority with Columbia University. During his visit, Dr Garfield interacted with the flood-affected people of Morigaon and Barpeta districts and also had discussions with the government officials, community workers and NGOs. He also made a presentation to the Chief Secretary and other government officials regarding the present information management system in the Assam State Disaster Management Authority and how to make them more effective.
Dr Garfield called on Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday and shared his views regarding the information system for need assessment in the wake of disasters.
He made several recommendations to improve the management of information related to disasters. He also demonstrated various graphical reports that can come from critical data, assisting in analysis, which would go back to the Deputy Commissioners who originally collected it.
The Assam State Disaster Management Authority plans to carry forward its collaboration with the Columbia University and seek its assistance for setting up a modern system for disaster preparedness in the State.