February 6, 2023
The Directorate of Partnership of the National Disaster Management has concluded the establishment of the Southern Region, Bo district and Kakua chiefdom Disaster Management Committees with the theme: “Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to ‘Build Back Better’ in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction”.
Pursuant to Section 20 (1) of Part 5 of the NDMA Act of 2020, the NDMA is mandated to establish regional, district, and chiefdom disaster management committees in each of the administrative regions of Sierra Leone to decentralise the management of disasters.
The NDMA Director of Partnership, Soko Kai-Samba, disclosed that the responsibility and function of the various committees are to plan for the prevention of and mitigate the effects of disasters.
He said that the committees would coordinate the preparation and implementation of disaster management plans in their various localities.
According to NDMA’s Deputy Director General, John Vandi Rogers, the formalization aims to ensure that communities’ capacity to manage their hazards is improved at the local level. Mr Rogers also spoke on the powers and functions of the NDMA as enshrined in the NDMA Act of 2020.
He said the Act gave the NDMA and its structures enormous powers to effectively manage disaster-related matters across the country. He further dilated on other policies, and procedures of the Agency to the committee members present.
Furthermore, he noted that at the end of the formalization exercise, all established regional, district, and chiefdom committees would be able to contribute immensely to the identification and management of hazards locally.
“This formalisation has legitimised your established committees as stipulated by law. Committee members are therefore expected to contribute immensely to the human and environmental security of the state through disaster preparedness, risk reduction, response, rehabilitation and recovery activities,” he added.
The composition of the Regional Disaster Management Committee in each region comprised: the Resident Minister as the Chairman, the Provincial Security Coordinator – ONS as Deputy Chairman, the Provincial Secretary, the Brigade Commander – RSLAF, the Regional Police Commander – SLP, the Regional Fire Commander – NFF, The Mayor, the NaCSA Regional Coordinator, the District Medical Officer, the Sierra Leone Red Cross Branch Manager, the Environmental Protected Authority (EPA) regional head, the Paramount Chiefs, the Regional Information Officer, A representative from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning and the NDMA Regional Coordinator as Secretary.
For the District Disaster Management Committees, all the District Council Chairpersons serves as Chairmen, and all the District Security Coordinators for ONS serve as Deputy Chairmen. Other committee members include the Senior District Officer, the Battalion Commander – RSLAF, the Local Unit Commander – SLP, the Regional Commander – NFF, the District Coordinator – NaCSA, the District Medical Officer, the District Head – EPA, the Chairman, Council of Paramount Chiefs, the District Information Officer, the District Director – MAFFS, the District Youth Chairman – District Council, a Representative from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning, a Civil Society representative, and the NDMA District Coordinator as Secretary.
Also, the Chiefdom Disaster Management Committee comprised the Paramount Chief in each chiefdom as Chairman, the Community Health Officer, the Company Commander – RSLAF, the Officer-in-Charge – SLP, the Chiefdom Security Coordinator – ONS, the Member/Members of Parliament in that chiefdom, a councillor representative, the Chiefdom Youth Chairman, A representative from the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, a Civil Society representative, and the NDMA Chiefdom Coordinator as Secretary.
The National Disaster Management is committed to ensuring that all its structures, in accordance with the NDMA Act of 2020, are established and fully populated.