Roseau – Training of community members in the use of amateur radios (ham radios), emergency communications and other related topics will take place at the end of January 2019, as part of IOM and Dominica’s Office of Disaster Management (ODM) works to ensure that communities are aware, prepared and able to communicate in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Following IOM’s Age-Gender-Diversity Approach, participants in the radio trainings will represent diverse ages and include women and men, and special effort is being made to ensure that the training includes people with disabilities through the Dominica Association of People with Disabilities (DAPD), who are traditionally not availed of such opportunities.
IOM is also assisting the ODM to build on national preparedness and resilience by procuring 30 ham radio equipment to be pre-positioned in targeted communities, following a government-commissioned post-disaster report. The report noted that all telecommunications services on Dominica except for ham radio, were disabled from 19 to 21 September 2017 following Hurricane Maria. The report also noted the lack of trained ham radio operators. Candidates that will successfully pass the exams at the end of the training will receive the relevant international certification.
This initiative is part of a multi-faceted project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), through which IOM assists the government of Dominica with the repair and upgrade of 12 emergency shelters in Dominica.
Renovation works began on January 15, in the western community of Mahaut at the largest emergency shelter on the island, which hosted 300 internally displaced persons during and after the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Repairs will include the installment of a solar PV system and training of staff in maintenance, preparation and recovery of the solar systems in the event of a hurricane.
In an effort to strengthen the national institutional coordination, IOM coordinated with the ODM meetings with the Department of Local Government, and the Adult Education Division, to collaboratively roll out an island-wide Learning Needs Assessment regarding Disaster Management topics.
A workshop was held on the 3rd of January 2019 where all field officers of these departments were engaged. IOM designed survey questionnaires and will provide technical support in the analysis of the findings. The assessment targets over 3000 people across Dominica.
The result will be a National Emergency Training Matrix, giving an overview of trained citizens and training gaps per community. The Matrix will help the ODM to develop a National Emergency Training Program which will better meet the needs of local communities.
For further information please Contact Maxine Alleyne-Esprit at IOM Dominica, Email: email@example.com Tel: + (767) 275-3225.