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Armed Forces set to improve Ghana’s disaster management

Armed Forces set to improve Ghana’s disaster management September 29, 2010

Accra, Sept. 29, GNA – the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have committed themselves to boost the capacity of Ghana’s disaster management preparedness and to improve the operational capability of stakeholders in that sphere.


Consequently, a three-day Multi-Agency Emergency Response Command Post and Map Exercise dubbed “Exercise Exodus 1/2010″, aimed at training and evaluating the preparedness and readiness of stakeholders in disaster and other emergency situations commenced on Tuesday at the Southern Command of the GAF at Teshie, near Accra.


The Exercise was under the theme: “Effective Emergency/Disaster Management: Enhancing Multi-Agency Capacity through Joint Training”. it would among other things evaluate and harmonise the varying skills and procedures of stakeholders to achieve a standard operating procedure and inter-operability level necessary for effective and efficient disaster response.


The GAF is collaborating with a plethora of agencies and organisations including the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Tema Municipal Assembly, National Disaster Management Organisation, Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, the Police, fire and Immigration services, the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, Meteorological Service, Tema General Hospital, GRIDco, Ghana Water Company, Electricity Company of Ghana, Aqua Vitens Rand Limited and Zoomlion.


The exercise, which would be conducted in the Accra/Tema Metropolitan area, would not involve troop movement.


Rear Admiral Muniru Tahiru, Commandant of the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS), who opened the exercise, noted that the magnitude of recent local and international disasters, both natural and man-made, should be a matter of national concern because it held enormous financial implications for the country.


“Let us be mindful of the fact that disasters do not respect political boundaries. instead, they have the tendency to inflict damage to local and regional economies as well as the social stability of affected states,” he said.

Underscoring the importance of a well coordinated approach to disaster management, Rear Admiral Tahiru said mitigating the effects of such disasters required a synergy of efforts, a high sense of professionalism and efficient resource management.


Thus, he said, Exercise Exodus presented a “huge” opportunity for relevant civil institutions and the security services to exchange notes and demonstrate their preparedness to respond to emergencies with the appropriate instruments in a professional approach.


He observed that the greatest problems of emergency co-ordination occurred not within but between organisations and groups because their personnel were not accustomed to working together.


“Cooperation and partnership amongst the stakeholders will make a significant difference in our ability to deal with disaster when they occur.”


Rear Admiral Tahiru urged participants to avail themselves of the exercise to equip themselves with the requisite skill and knowledge needed for emergency operations.


The exercise would set the stage for a major one that would involve all stakeholders to be organised in future with deployment of search and rescue teams and the movement of persons and equipment.   

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