B’ville plans for disaster

National, Normal

The National,Wednesday 07th December 2011

KEY partners in the Bougainville disaster and emergency network successfully completed two days of training towards drafting of a contingency plan for the disaster-prone Bougainville atolls and Buka Island.
The planning workshop was co-facilitated by UNHCR country representative Walpurga Englbrecht and Department of Mining, Policy and Geohazard Management (DMPGM) officer Mathew Moihoi.
Englbrecht said the workshop, themed “Planning is everything” aimed to create greater understanding of what contingency planning meant and to build the participants’ confidence to contribute to the drafting of Bougainville’s contingency plan.
It is hoped the workshop will strengthen co-operation and improve humanitarian action in preparing for and responding to emergencies and disasters particularly related to the atolls and Buka islanders.
Welcoming the participants, Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) minister for communication Joseph Nopei said with the va­rious potential disaster activities in Bougainville, contingency planning ensured a proactive approach rather than a reactive approach as was usually the case.
“I am happy to say now that the knowledge and skills gained from this exercise are of very crucial value to the region in terms of reducing the impact of disaster activities and importantly mitigating these scenarios,” Nopei said.
ABG deputy administrator policy and research Raymond Masono said experience had shown that co-ordination was essential to ensure effective response, address gaps and avoid confusion and overlap.
“It is vital that information management and communication systems are well reflected in the evolution of this important document.”