Bumbuna Town, Dansogoia Chiefdom, Tonkolili District, 5th May 2023 – The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) through its Directorate of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (R, M&E) has concluded an impact assessment of the World Bank-funded simulation exercise conducted in Bumbuna to ascertain gaps and challenges in domesticating emergency response at the local level.
In November 2022, the NDMA with support from the World Bank through the Resilient Urban Sierra Leone Project (RUSLP) conducted a five-day National Simulation Exercise at the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Power Dam. The objective of the simulation exercise was to ensure strategies and response mechanisms are in place in the event of a dam failure and promote disaster preparedness, test standard operating procedures, and build the capacity of locals, state and non-state actors within Bumbuna in responding to emergencies.
The monitoring and evaluation exercise which commenced on the 3rd and ended on the 5th of May 2023 aims at assessing and evaluating the community’s knowledge and preparedness capacity and identifying gaps posing threats to effectively mitigate and respond to emergencies in Bumbuna.
NDMA’s Director of Research, Monitoring & Evaluations, Abubakarr Bangura said the evaluation exercise is important in identifying successes and areas for improvement on the conducted national simulation exercise. He also mentioned that the findings of the evaluation will ensure accountability and allow stakeholders to track the progress of activities against indicators. He further stated that through monitoring, it is possible to review how the simulation exercise is progressing, recognize risks and challenges as they develop, and adjust the implementation strategy as necessary to achieve the overall objective which can be used as lessons learnt for future implementations.
“The findings of this assessment exercise will inform NDMA and partners about future steps in ensuring the protection of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Dam which is a critical national infrastructure and the downstream communities.” – He stated.
Welcoming the NDMA team in Bumbuna, Paramount Chief of Dansogoia Chiefdom, Pa Alimamy Bockarie Yellan Koroma the III expressed his appreciation for the manner in which the simulation exercise was conducted in 2022 and committed to providing the team with the necessary information needed. He also stressed the importance of the monitoring and evaluation exercise and admonished other stakeholders present to cooperate fully with the team.
“I thank the NDMA and World Bank for conducting the simulation exercise in 2022 and also, for coming back to monitor the impact of the simulation exercise in our community. I can’t overemphasize the significance of the Bumbuna Dam to our country. Protecting it and preventing the ramifications of any emergency, especially to our downstream communities is a priority for us.” He assured.
Mr Samuel B. Koroma, Field Supervisor of the Emergency Action Unit (EAU); a unit established to protect the Dam and quickly intervene in cases of emergencies and control large operational water releases from the Dam to downstream communities, reported that man-made and environmentally related threats continue to pose a great risk to the Dam and the surrounding communities. He mentioned that uncontrolled bush burning, deforestation, farming and mining activities and encroachment into the buffer zone to construct dwelling houses pose some threats to the Dam.