Bo City, 12th May 2023 – The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has successfully concluded the implementation of a simulation exercise on fire prevention and road safety in Bo City. The World Bank, through the Resilient Urban Sierra Leone Project (RUSLP), funded the exercise.
The National Simulation Exercise (Simex) which commenced on the 9th and ended on the 12th of May 2023 is a component of the Resilient Urban Sierra Leone Project which focuses on improving integrated urban management, service delivery, and disaster emergency management in the Western Area and secondary cities across Sierra Leone.
The Simex was designed and implemented to assess, enhance and evaluate the Agency’s preparedness capacity to effectively prevent and respond to fire emergencies and strengthen coordination and collaboration among emergency institutions in Bo District.
During the theoretical sessions, the NDMA did various presentations on disaster prevention, mitigation, response and incident management to enhance the participant’s knowledge of the overall management of emergencies.
NDMA’s Technical Disaster Management Consultant, Paul Murphy, presented on global road safety. He further lectured on accident prevention & mitigation methods and strategies in the management of road accidents and emergencies at both local and national levels.
In his presentation, the Deputy Director General of NDMA, John V. Rogers, emphasized the importance of the simulation exercise. He said the exercise helps prepare communities and allows for testing plans and systems for effective response. “Systems, emergency procedures, contingency plans, response mechanisms, and equipment are tested in these exercises. They contribute to team building and evaluating response skills.”
He continued: “Simulation exercises play a significant role in promoting a culture of disaster risk reduction, including enhanced preparedness for an effective response, as called for by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. This exercise will also help us to test our policies and procedures and ensure effective coordination among partners in responding to emergencies at the local level.” He stated.
The Directors of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation and Relief and Response, Abu Bakarr Bangura and Sinneh Mansaray respectively presented on the Agency’s structures, data management systems and response mechanisms.
The practical aspect of the simulation drill primarily focused on fire prevention. It was imitative of the Wellington fuel tanker explosion, which occurred on the 5th of November 2021. It also exhibited effective coordination between the NDMA, the National Fire Force, the Red Cross and other partners, and clearly defined the unique roles and responsibilities of each partner in responding to emergencies. The drill was conducted on New Gerehun Road in Bo City along the Bo – Kenema Highway.
The National Disaster Management Agency will continue to solicit funds to ensure it rolls out various simulation exercises across the country to validate and enhance preparedness and response plans, procedures and systems for all hazards and capabilities.