Gbarnga, Bong County – A one-day training on Natural Disaster Readiness under the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) has been held in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]
The training was funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
According to E. Abraham T. Tumbey, NAP’s project manager, the training session focused on strengthening national disaster response and helped citizens understand the steps to be adopted to respond to various disaster situations.
Tumbey added that the training increased participants’ knowledge disaster preparedness by increasing each agencies’ understanding of participants’ roles and responsibilities before and during a disaster.
Tumbey said planning, coordination and high state of preparedness were the necessary steps to handle crisis successfully.
The NAP project manager said the training was also meant to create awareness among participants about the firefighting techniques and the ways to respond swiftly in times of such emergency situation.
“The training is being organized to check the readiness of citizens to face any such emergency during natural calamities,” he said.
The training, participants said, enhanced their ability to cooperate and collaborate among agencies; helped define the roles and responsibilities of agencies during a disaster; and stimulated participants to take action to inventory available resources.
Frederick Nappy, Bong County Police Commander who was also a participant, said the training motivated him to develop and amend standard operating procedures (SOPs) and instilled awareness on the need to educate and train personnel within their own agency and the civilian population.
“The training significantly increased disaster preparedness by enhancing cooperation and collaboration among agencies.
Nappy stated, “The coordination of all agencies present will increase the preparedness amongst each other in assisting the main agency NDMC to manage disaster.”
“It has promoted critical contacts between participants and cooperation.” Agencies “have now seen the necessity of working together to think as a group and think that we can support immediately, prompt, and valuable plan,” Nappy added.
Madam Esther Walker, superintendent of Bong County, who was also a participant, said agencies responsible can now talk with each other on resolving disaster issues.
They are “looking forward to sharing information across NDMC and offices, as well as with regional partners and fully support NDMC when required.”
Continuing, she added: “We plan “to coordinate with relevant agencies on their needs to better improve disaster preparedness.”
The training enabled “better and stronger ties between NDMC and other agencies and between agencies.” We believe “the most important cooperation and coordination is among the government agencies and non-government agencies.”
“The coordination between multi-agency throughout definitely enhance disaster preparedness for each agency has their oven tasks and can offer information or resources in order to fulfill a requirement based on what kind of disaster should occur.”
Participants will further coordinate and collaborate through additional meetings or workshops on disaster preparedness, Walker said.
Participants will “organize a working group to further enhance the networking and make sure that this is not the end but the beginning.”
Participants believe “more, similar trainings or meetings should be held in the future to future enhance the preparedness and to speed up the process.”
Participants plan to educate and train others on disaster preparedness.
They plan “to instill awareness to their organization on the role of NDMC” and “share their experience with relevant authorities and colleagues.”
Others say they will establish trainings in order to enhance knowledge and exchange experiences as well as practical exercise. Still others plan “to be involved in the awareness program to help public realize how to handle any disaster.
Participants stated they will also develop additional training and exercises to better prepare for a disaster across the country. “Further trainings [will] enhance our capabilities professionally and operationally.”
Everyone now knows “training is needed [to] improve logistics and upgrade any available exercises according to the scenario; and exercise[s] [are] essential in order to improve [their] ability.”