NW municipalities trained to deal with disasters

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rustenburg - Municipalities in the North West are beefing up their disaster response and recovery management plans ahead of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in June and 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Local government will be critical in rolling out contingency plans in the event of a natural or man-made disaster which threatens to cause death, injury, disease or damage to property and infrastructure.

These municipalities, along with regional and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government parastatals, institutions of higher learning, private sector organisations and other organisations involved in disaster management, are attending a training workshop to empower themselves with disaster response management.

The North West Department of Developmental Local Government and Housing is hosting the five-day programme which will end on Friday in Rustenburg to ensure that when the need to activate any of the contingency plans arises, the most effective and efficient response is put together.

According to the department, teams will be established during the programme capable of ensuring integrated and co-ordinated management of complex multi dimensional incidents, emergencies and disasters across functional boundaries.

These teams should be able to move quickly to implement plans and mitigate the effects of the disaster and fulfil their specific role and responsibilities as part of the Integrated Response and Recovery Structure.

The objective of the programme is also to compile a variety of integrated response and recovery management plan as part of the full spectrum of contingency plans required based on a practical programme gap analysis and risk assessment.

The various participants are expected to discuss the role each organisation or institution has to play in these activities and when to act as lead agency and when to support.

The will also be trained on how to apply the concept of Command and Control in the context from On Scene Command (OSC), Unity of Command (UoC) and Unified Command within the Integrated Response Centre or Disaster Management Centre environment.

The workshop is a follow-up to a workshop on the development of a national education, training and research needs and resources analysis that was hosted by the province earlier this month.

It sought to develop and implement an integrated disaster risk management education and training framework as outlined in the National Disaster Management Framework of 2005.