THE TANZANIA Red Cross Society (TRCS) has announced plans to train its volunteers so as to increase their capacity of responding to disaster and emergency situations.
The Society's General Secretary, Mr Adam Kimbisa, told a press conference in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that his society was in talks with other Red Cross societies to train its volunteers on rescue and first aid.
"We also plan to improve our Zanzibar branch to be able to efficiently manage disasters whenever they occur," said Mr Kimbisa. Mr Kimbisa was speaking after receiving 10million/- cheque from a city based businessman, Mr Samantar Abdinur Iusuf, for helping the victims of the Mv Skagit tragedy which occurred near Chumbe Island in Zanzibar on July 18.
About 90 people who were travelling in the boat died while more than 100 people survived after the boat submerged while heading to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam. Mr Kimbisa said part of the donation would be used to purchase the rescue equipment and first aid kits, adding that the remained amount would be channeled to the victims of the tragedy.
He urged the government to establish rescue departments at every port which would specifically deal with disaster management. He thanked the TRCS members and volunteers for playing a great role during the rescue exercise in Zanzibar and that his society was among the first rescue stakeholders to respond to the tragedy.
"About 65 volunteers and three society staff members took part in the rescue exercise in Zanzibar," he said. He pointed out that the society established a temporary camp in collaboration with Zanzibar Chief Minister office through the disaster management department and that the camp was receiving the victims to provide them with the first aid.
Mr Kimbisa also noted that the society provided 200 blankets, 200 body bags, 200 gloves and 200 face masks during the rescue exercise.