Namibia to establish national emergency operations centre

Secretary to Cabinet, George Simataa on Monday called on ministries and developmental organisations to dedicate resources, for the successful establishment of a national emergency operations centre and multi-hazard early warning system.

The centre, according to Simataa, would form part of Namibia’s efforts to reduce disaster risks and impacts. Simataa made the call here at the National Awareness Workshop on Emergency Operations Centres and Onsite Operations Coordination Centre.

“This ambition requires multi-discipline synergies and collaboration. In a world facing an increasing number of natural and man-made disasters, having a well-prepared and equipped emergency response system is essential for the safety and well-being of our communities. The Emergency Operations Centre/Onsite Coordination and Operation Centre provides for consolidation of massive multi-discipline data, well-informed and rapid decision-making, multi-sectoral coordination and cooperation,” Simataa added.

He stressed that the workshop is relevant, in that authorities, emergency responders, and line ministries have come together to enhance a common understanding of emergency response protocols and procedures.

“A collaborative approach in responding to disasters ensures that everyone involved is on the same page, understands their roles and eventually guarantees effective response when a disaster strikes,” Simataa noted, adding that the workshop is timely as it comes at a time when the government is rolling out nationwide humanitarian assistance as a result of drought.

The workshop will furthermore include a scenario-based exercise that simulates real-life emergencies. Representatives from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Regional Office in Nairobi, Kenya and the World Food Programme in Namibia were in attendance.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency