IOM Dominica supports Country’s Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Improve Emergency Preparedness of Communities

Date Publish: 
01/22/2019

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: malleyne@iom.int  Tel: + (767) 275-3225.

 

Tags: 
Dominica, Hurricane Response, Resilience, Risk Management

IOM Offers Real-Time Information for People Displaced by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas

Date Publish: 
20 / 09 / 2019

Nassau – Almost three weeks after Hurricane Dorian decimated Abaco and Grand Bahamas islands, almost 2,000 persons evacuated from these islands remain in shelters in New Providence, a few kilometres west of Nassau. Many more are temporarily accommodated with family and friends. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is exploring with the government of The Bahamas the implementation of a cloud-based system which can be used to facilitate shelter management and family reunification.

“After a disaster like Hurricane Dorian, reliable information is one of the most critical components of response and recovery efforts.  Sadly, as the pressure builds to address humanitarian needs, it is often overlooked,” said Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM team leader in The Bahamas. “To ensure that IOM implements efficient and relevant programmes, the emergency response team has engaged in several dialogues with government officials, local NGOs and other international humanitarian partners to exchange ideas and finalise project concepts.”

On Wednesday, 18 September, IOM staff in Nassau met with representatives of the Department of Social Services – the institution in charge of managing government-run shelters. During the meeting, the Government officials outlined their current information management practices and shared the needs of the institution in that regard.  Thereafter, IOM presented methodologies and products to support the ministry with managing information on evacuees and other displaced individuals and their needs. 

One such product was the Integrated Shelter Registration System (SIRA) – an electronic system used to connect Government approved collective centres under a single cloud-based system which can be used to facilitate shelter management.  If implemented, the system would allow the department to generate real-time report on the status and needs of the population living in collective centres.

“Capturing that type of data is important because the population in the collective centres is changing constantly,” IOM Information Management and Research Officer, David Morales, said. “So updated information is fundamental to support the humanitarian response of all the partners."  Following the meeting, IOM has shared a detailed proposal for a comprehensive data collection strategy to be implemented over the next few months in support of recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

Considering how the exchange of information between humanitarian partners, officials, emergency managers and those impacted by Hurricane Dorian, is so vital, IOM on Thursday (19 September), met with the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration.  The dialogue was considered as an opportunity to start what will hopefully be a long-lasting conversation between the Government and IOM, as well as the rest of the humanitarian community, on challenges and options to address the needs of affected persons of Haitian descent, in both regular and irregular status.

“Challenges and issues related to migration status and cultural diversity have already come up as part of people’s access to all forms of assistance in the aftermath of the hurricane” said Lorenzo Guadagno, manager of IOM’s MICIC (Migrants in Countries in Crisis) capacity building activities, “anticipating and addressing them will be essential to successful response and recovery for the migrants as well as for the whole community.”

For more information please contact Vynliz Dailey in the Bahamas, Email: vdailey@iom.int, Tel +1 (767) 615-6681.