World Bank provides technical assistance to Seychelles’ disaster risk management authorities
Enhancing emergency coordination at ministries, departments, and agencies level, and turning early warnings into effective actions are the focus of technical assistance being provided by the World Bank to Seychelles’ Disaster Risk Management Division (DRMD).
The assistance is for the operationalisation of the National Integrated Emergency Management Plan (NIEMP), which provides a consistent framework to which all national emergency preparedness and response efforts should adhere.
The plan was launched Thursday, August 4 at the Savoy Resort and Spa, Beau Vallon, in the presence of the Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan.
The director general of DRMD, Robert Ernesta, told reporters that plan is not the totality of what is needed to provide security to Seychellois in cases of an emergency.
“The NIEMP is basically the main instrument that will provide directions on how to make other plans and how to integrate the whole community under one plan. From the NIEMP we will have to develop plans for each ministry, department and agency. We will also have contingency plans for districts, and regions among others,” said Ernesta.
The task team leader from the World Bank, Keren Charles, told reporters that the DRMD team has taken key steps but more work is still needed.
“There needs to be coordination and the teams need to work together to build the preparedness and response capacity within Seychelles. The event today with the President of the Republic, the Vice-President and so many key ministers and agencies being here shows the national commitment to building resilience,” said Charles.
Ernesta explained that having a plan with outlined standard operating procedures (SOPs) will help to improve coordination between relevant bodies, as each person will know their role, carrying out any needed operation in a coordinated manner.
The World Bank delegation will be providing technical assistance to DRMD in the two-week mission that ends on August 12 for the operationalisation of the plan. This will be done through workshops with focal points as well as with decision-makers.
Training will also be provided to specialist support staff who will be the dedicated Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Focal Point from key institutions to support decision makers for disaster risk management coordination. Those trained are expected to lead the development of SOPs and contingency response plans for their relevant institutions.
At the end of the two-week, feedback will be provided through which the organiser will be able to see how to strengthen and improve the training.
The NIEMP was produced in 2019 after extensive consultation with various partners under the guidance of a World Bank team of three consultants. The document was approved by the cabinet of the former administration in early 2020.
However, the plan was not made fully operational as not all required mechanisms were in put place among other factors.