An evaluating local disaster management report was launched by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in collaboration with Bournemouth University UK on Friday 10th March, 2023.
The research report document is gearing towards addressing disaster using community members or structures as they are more au fait with community’s terrain in terms of responding to disaster.
Director-General of National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) Lieutenant General Brima Sesay noted that the launch of the report offers many relevant insights and recommendations for his agency and other key disaster management institutions in the country to consider and take forward in future disaster management and response mechanism.
He furthered that the focus of evaluating disaster research document is to improve sub national disaster in Sierra Leone is especially timely and appropriate for the work of NDMA.
According to him, the agency in line with its plan objectives for 2022 has expanded its presence across the provinces with the appointment of new NDMA Provincial and Districts Officers that significantly improves the capacity of the agency in the entire Sierra Leone.
Retired Lieutenant General Brima Sesay mentioned that the value of the focus on resolvable single points of failure as a methodology and how rigorous academic research can lead and shape viable policy recommendations that policymakers can regard as realistic, affordable options for Sierra Leone and African disaster management more widely.
Director-General also emphasized the need for community involvement in disaster management and response as community members share common values and concerns of the victims of disaster at lower levels. He revealed the strategic partnership with Bournemouth University and the relevance of such partnership as they would be conducting numerous research on disaster management and response that would be helpful for disaster prevention and academic research for higher learning institutions in Sierra Leone and other African countries.
The Consultant from Bournemouth University Prof Lee Miles highlighted the challenges facing disaster management and response at provincial and district levels such as insufficient IT equipment for NDMA Provincial and District Officers, severe reliance of these provincial and district officers on their private phones for regular communications to head office in Freetown and weak internet coverage and connectivity across many parts of Sierra Leone.
He ,however, concluded on the note that evaluating disaster research findings indicate that there have been remarkable improvements in many areas of provincial and district disaster management in Sierra Leone in recent years.