Occasions Resort, Lakka, Freetown, Monday 4th July, 2022 — United Nations Sierra Leone through their Resident Coordinator and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has commenced a five-day Disaster Management Training in Freetown for staff of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and non-state actors in Sierra Leone.
The training is facilitated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which aims at building the capacity of state and non-state actors in Disaster Risk Management in Sierra Leone will end on Friday 8th July, 2022.
During his welcome address, the Deputy Director General of NDMA (DDG), John Vandi Rogers explained about the establishment of NDMA and provided an overview of the disaster management situation in Sierra Leone, acknowledging and commending the numerous contributions of the United Nations towards improving the overall management of disasters in the country.
“NDMA metamorphosed from the Office of National Security who were in charge of disaster management in the country. Since its establishment in 2020, the positive impact of the Agency has been felt nationwide through its various mandated activities via Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Relief and Response and Communications”, he disclosed.
The DDG encouraged partners and stakeholders to intensify their support to enable NDMA improve on its robust responsiveness to emergencies. He expressed special gratification to the UN Agencies for their continued and meaningful contributions to the management of disasters in Sierra Leone with special reference to the NDMA.
In his keynote address, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Dr. Babatunde A. Ahonsi disclosed that they were contacted by NDMA to support in the area of capacity building, Emergency Preparedness and Response; so they contacted the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Dakar, Senegal to conduct the training together with other experts.
“NDMA contacted us for capacity building, we then contacted OCHA in Dakar, Senegal to facilitate the training”, he informed.
The training will cover numerous topics including Emergency Preparedness and Response (ERP), Humanitarian Principles, Human Rights based Approach to Disaster Management, Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Contingency Planning, Early Warning Systems, Hazards Risk Mapping, Humanitarian Coordination Mechanisms, Accountability to Affected People, Gender in Emergencies, Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Civil and Military Coordination, and Information Management.
The training attracted key selected participants from the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Office of National Security (ONS), National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs (MoGCA), National Fire Force (NFF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations International Organization for Immigration (IOM), World Vision, Catholic Relief Service (CRS), Goal Sierra Leone, Plan International, Action Aid, Care Sierra Leone, Save the Children, Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and Partners in Health (PIH).
The lead facilitator, Mr. Ambroise Kombo who is the OCHA Humanitarian Officer, stressed the importance of the topics as well as the selection of the participants. He said the objective of the training is to build the capacity of state and non-state actors in the management of disaster in the country.
“The topics and participants were carefully selected to achieve the set objectives of the training”, he said, adding “After the training, It’s my hope and belief that the participants will be in a better position to efficiently and sufficiently manage disaster in Sierra Leone”.