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Regional News of Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Source: GNA

KAIPTC graduates students in Disaster Preparedness Initiative

The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) on Friday graduated 60 participants from Guinea -Bissau under the West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative (WADPI) training programme.

The objective of the training programme for the West Africa sub-region is to utilize lessons learnt from the recent Ebola epidemic, and strengthen national capacities among 17 West African Partner Nations.

In his closing remarks, Air Commodore Julius Sefadzi Kofi Dzamefe, the Deputy Commandant, KAIPTC, noted that the Centre aimed at providing quality training facilities and expertise for disaster operations and peace support operations.

He said the three-week training commenced with the planning session and the Information Technology boot camp, followed by individual tracks of learning which covered health, operations and composite sectors involving security, logistics and civil-military coordination in disaster operations.

The Deputy Commandant congratulated participants and the entire leadership of the Guinea Bissau team, adding that “you have shown clear commitment to enhancing national level capacity in disaster management and most importantly, regional collaboration as we work together to enhance disaster preparedness in West Africa.”

He, however, tasked participants to direct their new knowledge to strengthening disaster management in Guinea Bissau.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Alsau Sambu, Programmes Coordinator at Service National Protection Civil (SNPC), Guinea Bissau, said he was really impressed with the training sessions and commended the organisers and sponsors for the initiative.

He said the training programme would help member states especially within the sub-region to tackle issues regarding disaster management with a modern approach.

Mr Sambu told GNA that Guinea Bissau was exposed to floods, epidemic, and strong winds towards the country (waves), drought, among others, that were all challenges they encountered so far as disaster management was concerned.

The WADPI training programme is being organised by the ECOWAS, in collaboration with the KAIPTC and the National Disaster Management Organisation for representatives from the governments of ECOWAS Member States from July to November.

It seeks to implement an all-hazards approach to disaster preparedness and response management to ensure continued regional collaboration, communication and coordination between member states in disaster preparedness and response.

Training efforts also focused on building the capacity of officials responsible for disaster preparedness and management regarding the lessons learnt from the current Ebola crisis and to establish a foundation for a national-level, systems-based approach to preparedness.

Other countries which have already passed out in the WADPI training programme include Ghana, Benin, Senegal, Togo, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Liberia.