Windhoek — Namibia's new Disaster Risk Management Act (No 10 of 2012) provides a solid framework for a holistic approach to disaster management and looks beyond emergency response to also recognize the importance of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
This was the message delivered yesterday by Japhet Iitenge, Director for Disaster Risk Management in the Office of the Prime Minister, when he officially opened a three-day validation workshop on camp coordination, camp management and disaster risk management tools.
The workshop is being conducted in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The workshop is particularly relevant as the rainy season approaches and certain communities in flood-prone areas face the hazards of floodwaters and inevitable relocation to emergency camps.
"The government of the Republic of Namibia is thus establishing a basis for strengthened national, regional and local capacities to reduce risks and build resilience to disasters," said Iitenge in a speech he delivered on behalf of Nangula Mbako, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.
"It is encouraging and commendable to see the recent progress of Namibia in the quest to enhance the resilience of the country and mitigating the multiple hazards that the country is facing," commented Elham Pourazar from the IOM's Windhoek office during her welcoming remarks.
Pourazar also congratulated the Office of the Prime Minister and its Directorate for Disaster Risk Management for enhanced national capacity in camp coordination and camp management.
"Internal displacement owing to natural disasters is one key factor of concern in Namibia, as recurrent disruption in lives and livelihoods is not only causing suffering and hardship for the communities at local level, but also pose adverse effects on growth, development and equality across the board of the Namibian society," observed Pourazar.
The workshop, taking place at the United Nations House in Windhoek, will focus on three main parts. The first is to celebrate training deliveries in camp management.
"We as Namibians can proudly say that we have a cadre of trainers that have been mobilized for enhanced national capacity in camp coordination and camp management and to improve the displacement management in this country," said Iitenge.
Secondly, the workshop will provide an opportunity to validate three new manuals and corresponding tools that will serve as key resources to assist in future disasters.
The three resources include a Camp Coordination and Camp Management manual, a manual for Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Assistance and an Emergency Information manual.
Thirdly, the workshop will dedicate time for camp management trainers to deliberate on the training delivery over the past few months and share views on how to improve for the future, learn from each other and plan for emergency training in the event of an ongoing disaster.