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Ecowas participates at regional disaster training programme in Accra

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The ECOWAS Commission through its Department of Social Affairs and Gender is participating in the West African Disaster Preparedness Training Programme in Accra Ghana from the 9th to 20th November 2015.

In collaboration with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) of the Republic of Ghana, the training is part of the series under the aegis of the West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative (WADPI) programme to assist ECOWAS Member States and Partner-Nations incorporate lessons learned from the Ebola crises in West Africa into disaster preparedness and response mechanism.

The first set of training is holding from 9th to 20th November, 2015 and this is specifically designed for ECOWAS staff mostly Information & Technology Personnel that would be assigned to assist ECOWAS in the establishment of a Regional Emergency Operation Center for disaster management. The second set of training will hold from 16th to 20th November 2015 also in Accra, is designed for ECOWAS staff drawn from various Departments of the Commission.

The main objective of this training is to enable ECOWAS integrate the proposed Regional Disaster Emergency Operation Center platform with that of WADPI trained countries, thus producing a seamless interactive network with these countries. This is to ensure continued regional communication, collaboration and coordination between Member States in disaster preparedness and response.

The Training efforts have focused on building the capacity of officials responsible for disaster preparedness and management regarding the lessons learned from the current Ebola crisis and established a foundation for a national-level, systems-based approach to preparedness. 

As appropriate to each country, the trainings have been in the areas that include the review and validation of National Disaster Preparedness and Response Plans, the review and validation of National Emergency Operations Center (NEOCs) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as well as Focused IT training for EOC Management, the Ebola Awareness and Basic First Responder Training, emergency Operation Centre Management and Incident Command Structure, Logistics, Security, and Communication during Disaster Response as well as  the Development and Design of Table Top Exercise and Team Building.

The ECOWAS Commission has been engaged for the programme to have overall responsibility of managing the training courses and also coordinate the participation of Member States National Disaster Management Agencies and other relevant Government ministries that are participating in the trainings.

The course will primarily focus on awareness training related to Emergency Operation Center (EOC), National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) IT Software Platforms, NEOC Integrated One -Health Surveillance & Early Warning Scenarios.

 By the 27th October 2015, WADPI had successfully trained 9 countries which include, Ghana, Benin, Togo, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria and Guinea Bissau. With Mali completing its training on the 30 Oct 2015, Cameroon and The Gambia would conclude theirs on the 13th of November 2015.

The WADPI programme is being supported by the United States Africa Command (USFARICOM).

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