DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Application of Act

PART II
THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION UNIT

   4.   Establishment of National Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit

   5.   Functions of Unit

   6.   Powers of Unit

   7.   Prevention and mitigation of disasters

   8.   Establishment of National Disaster Management Council

   9.   Functions of Council

   10.   Establishment of National Disaster Management Technical Committee

   11.   Functions of Technical Committee

   12.   Proceedings of Technical Committee

   13.   National Co-ordinator

   14.   Directories and records

   15.   Disaster Management Information System

PART III
PROVINCIAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES

   16.   Establishment of Provincial Disaster Management Committees

   17.   Composition of Provincial Committee

   18.   Functions of Provincial Committee

   19.   Provincial Disaster Management Co-ordinator

   20.   Proceedings of Provincial Committees

PART IV
DISTRICT AND SATELLITE DISASTER MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES

   21.   Establishment of District Disaster Management Committees

   22.   Functions of District Committee

   23.   Proceedings of District Committee

   24.   District Disaster Management Co-ordinator

   25.   Powers of District Disaster Management Co-ordinator

   26.   Satellite Disaster Management Committees

   27.   Functions of Satellite Committee

   28.   Proceedings of Satellite Committees

   29.   Disaster management volunteers

PART V
THE NATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF TRUST FUND

   30.   National Disaster Relief Trust Fund

   31.   Administration and management of Trust Fund

   32.   Application of Trust Fund

   33.   Financial year

   34.   Statement of income and expenditure

   35.   Annual report

PART VI
DECLARATION OF NATIONAL DISASTER

   36.   Declaration of national disasters and disaster areas

   37.   Regulatory powers in state of disaster

PART VII
DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLANS

   38.   National disaster management plan

   39.   Post disaster reconstruction, rehabilitation and recovery plan

   40.   Sector disaster management plans

PART VIII
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   41.   General offences

   42.   Regulations

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to establish and provide for the maintenance and operation of a system for the anticipation, preparedness, prevention, coordination, mitigation and management of disaster situations and the organisation of relief and recovery from disasters; establish the National Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit and provide for its powers and functions; provide for the declaration of disasters; establish the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund; provide for the responsibilities and involvement of the members of the public in disaster management; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[16th April, 2010]

Act 13 of 2010.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Disaster Management Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Council” means the National Disaster Management Council established under section 8;

“disaster area” means an area in which a disaster occurs and which is declared as such an area under section 36;

“disaster” means an event that is associated with the impact of a human induced or natural hazard, which causes a serious disruption in the functioning of a community or society, causing widespread human, material or environmental losses which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope with the hazard using its own resources;

“disaster management” means a continuous and integrated multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary process of planning and implementation of measures aimed at—

      (a)   preventing or reducing the risk of disasters;

      (b)   mitigating the severity or consequences of disasters;

      (c)   emergency preparedness;

      (d)   a rapid and effective response to disasters; and

      (e)   post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation;

“disaster preparedness” means activities and measures taken in advance to ensure effective response to the impact of hazards, including the issuance of timely and effective early warnings and the evacuation of people and economic assets from a threatened location;

“disaster prevention” means measures or actions taken to avoid, eliminate, or prevent harmful natural or human adverse phenomena or hazards from causing or resulting in a disaster;

“District Committee” means the District Disaster Management Committee established under section 21;

“District Development Co-ordinating Committee” means the District Development Co-ordinating Committee established by Government as a forum for co-ordinating the planning and implementation of development activities at the district level;

“District Disaster Management Co-ordinator” means the person appointed as such under section 24;

“early warning” means the provision of timely and effective information, through relevant institutions, that allows individuals exposed to any hazard, to take action to avoid or reduce their risk and prepare for effective response;

“emergency” means an event, actual or imminent, which endangers or threatens to endanger life, property or the environment and which requires a significant and coordinated response;

“essential commodities” means food supplies, water, shelter, health care, sanitation, clothing, equipment and any other basic necessity or service given to a victim of a disaster, hazard or emergency to save the victim’s life;

“hazard” means a potentially damaging physical event such as an earthquake, a hurricane, flood, drought, fire, epidemic, phenomenon or human activity, which may cause injury or the loss of life, damage to property, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation, and includes latent conditions that may represent future threats and can have different origins, natural and human induced;

“health facility” has the meaning assigned to it in the Health Professions Act, 2009;

“health practitioner” has the meaning assigned to it in the Health Professions Act, 2009;

“local authority” means a council established under the Local Government Act;

“mitigation” means structural and non-structural measures undertaken to limit the adverse impact of natural hazards, environmental degradation and technological hazards;

“National Co-ordinator” means the National Co-ordinator of the Unit appointed under section 13;

“Provincial Committee” means the Provincial Disaster Management Committee established under section 16;

“Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committee” means the Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committee established by Government as a forum for co-ordinating the planning, implementation and monitoring of development activities at the Provincial level;

“Provincial Disaster Management Co-ordinator” means the person appointed as such under section 19;

“rapid on-set disaster” means a disaster that occurs usually as a result of a sudden natural event such as a flash flood, an earthquake, epidemic, fire, cyclone, civil disturbance, oil spill, influx of refugees or transport accident;

“rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery” means measures to help restore the livelihoods, assets and production levels of emergency affected communities, to re-build essential infrastructure, productive capacities, institutions and services destroyed or rendered non-operational by a disaster, and to help bring about sustainable development by facilitating the necessary adjustments to the changes caused by the disaster and improving on the status quo, where possible;

“relief” means emergency provision of assistance to save people’s lives in the immediate wake of a disaster, including search and rescue, evacuation, distribution of food and water, temporary provision of sanitation, health care and shelter, and the restoration of immediate personal security;

“resilience” means capacity to withstand the negative effects of a hazard;

“risk” means the probability of harmful consequences such as deaths or injuries, or expected losses of property or livelihoods, disruption of economic activity, or environmental damage, resulting from interaction between natural or human induced hazards and vulnerable conditions;

“Satellite Committee” means the Satellite Disaster Management Committee established pursuant to section 26;

“Technical Committee” means the National Disaster Management Technical Committee established under section 10;

“Trust Fund” means the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund established under section 30;

“Unit” means the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit established under section 4;

“volunteer” means a person providing, or assisting in the provision of, disaster management services;

“vulnerability” means a set of conditions and processes resulting from physical, social, economic, and environmental factors which increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of hazards; and

“warrant holder” means a public officer with authority to control and account for public funds and resources.

3.   Application of Act

This Act does not apply to an occurrence or event—

      (a)   if, from the date on which it occurs, an emergency is declared to deal with that occurrence or event under the Emergency Powers Act; or

      (b)   to the extent that the occurrence can be dealt with effectively under any other law aimed at reducing the risk, and addressing the consequences of occurrences of that nature.

PART II
THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION UNIT

4.   Establishment of National Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit

   (1) There is hereby established the National Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit which shall be responsible for the implementation of the provisions of this Act.

   (2) The Unit shall be a department in the Office of the Vice-President.

   (3) The expenses of the Unit shall be charged upon and issued out of the general revenues of the Republic.

5.   Functions of Unit

   (1) The Unit shall be the Secretariat to the entire national disaster management structure, and shall implement all disaster management programmers and activities in the country.

   (2) Without limiting the generality of sub-section (1), the Unit shall—

      (a)   act as the central planning, co-ordinating and monitoring institution for prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and post disaster recovery taking into account all potential disaster risks;

      (b)   advise the Technical Committee on the progress and constraints in disaster management and on other matters relating to the management of disaster relief operations;

      (c)   warn the public of an imminent disaster and predict its effects;

      (d)   maintain a data collection and dissemination system, and national strategic reserves of essential commodities and equipment for immediate disaster relief;

      (e)   formulate disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation strategies and action plans to meet all foreseeable requirements in consultation with Government, non-governmental organisations and donor agencies;

      (f)   prepare and update the disaster management plans and the supporting disaster management manual;

      (g)   prepare an over-arching national disaster contingency plan and co-ordinate cross sectoral plans;

      (h)   establish an early warning system covering all sectors and hazard sources and maintain close links with the different institutions that provide early warning services;

      (i)   develop and sustain viable, effective structures and capacities at the national level, provincial level and within the districts;

      (j)   take all necessary measures in order to prevent, alleviate, contain and minimize the effects of disasters;

      (k)   conduct public and media briefings on disaster-related programmes, progress and constraints;

      (l)   act as an advisory and consultative body on issues concerning disasters and disaster management;

      (m)   make post disaster reconstruction, rehabilitation and recovery plans;

      (n)   promote the recruitment, training and participation of volunteers in disaster management;

      (o)   establish and manage an Emergency Operations Centre, which shall be the nerve centre to monitor emergencies and feed into the normal operations of the Unit;

      (p)   act as a central clearing house for the reporting of disasters and dissemination of output from the Technical Committee during a disaster;

      (q)   conduct assessments, before, during and after disasters;

      (r)   work with authorities in other countries that are responsible for disaster management to exchange information and have access to international expertise and assistance in respect of disaster management; and

      (s)   carry out and co ordinate all research relevant to its functions for the purpose of advising the Council and the Technical Committee on measures necessary for disaster prevention and preparedness.

   (3) The Unit shall exercise and perform such other functions and powers as are conferred or imposed on it by, or under, this Act or any other written law.

6.   Powers of Unit

   (1) The Unit may—

      (a)   request, in writing, any Government department or Ministry, an organisation, institution, person or body of persons, to furnish to the Unit such information for the purposes of disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation, as the Unit may require for purposes of this Act;

      (b)   during the existence of a disaster, request from any Government department or Ministry, an institution, organisation, person or persons, vehicles, equipment, property, supplies and other materials, necessary to mitigate the disaster; and

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