Senator Winston Garraway, Minister with Responsibility for Disaster Management, highlighted the importance of a contingency planning workshop which got underway here on today. The 2–day workshop brings together representatives from the public sector and focuses on contingency plans to mitigate against disasters.
Senator Garraway told the opening that contingency planning is extremely important since it puts measures in place for a country to rebound from a disaster and resume operations.
“It is important in ensuring that the mechanisms that are put in place are adequate, functional and responsive to this ever-changing society. It is important in ensuring that our country is never again plunged into the abyss of pain and despair like it was in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004,” Garraway said.
30 public sector officers are at the National Stadium, attending the workshop which aims to expose key stakeholders of the public sector on Contingency Planning, in alignment to the national priorities. The National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) plans to carry out a series of simulation exercises to test the contingency plans which would be drawn up following the workshop.
“Such level of planning that involves all the sectors sets the stage for avoidance, en route for possible and effective response to a disaster,” Garraway explained. “Always remember, time spent in planning is time saved in responding, and plans gathering dust on shelves is a recipe for disaster.”
The exercise is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).