Iran’s National Disaster Management (NDMO) and Imam Hossein (PBUH) University have planned to organize six national workshops on disaster response and management for all 30 provinces in Iran. The forth national workshop of these series was jointly organized for six provinces at Shohadaye Haft-tir Camp in Ramsar city, north of Iran on the coast line of Caspian Sea. This four-day workshop was well-attended with 160 key government officials from different sectors and organisations of the six provinces (Alborz, Qom, Golestan, Semnan, Mazandaran, Markazi), including NDMO, education, environment, security, army, Red Crescent, transport, development agencies, governorships, water, electricity, utilities, forests and agriculture, all at the provincial level. All sessions of the workshop were led by Deputy Governor of each province. In addition, 24 academic experts were also invited to this event in order to share their expertise and experience with different working groups at the workshop. Dr. Jeddi from Imam Hossein University and Mr. Akbarpour (Deputy NDMO for Preparedness) were the principle technical advisers and coordinators of the event.
The main goal of this four-day workshop was centred on developing a common language in disaster response and improving communication skills among various government sectors which is believed to be extremely crucial at time of disaster. The other objective was to familiarise government officials with necessary procedures, bylaws, and systems currently in place and more importantly, strengthen communication among the participants in time of a disaster.
Consequently, all participants were provided with lower accommodation services at the Ramsar camp in order to simulate a real life scenario of a disaster. The participants were expected to stay at the camp for four days and also work on disaster scenarios from very early in the morning through the night. During the workshop, the participants were divided into different working groups to work on different disaster scenarios/case studies. For instance, on of the case studies was on the subject of evacuation of injured and inhabitants of a disaster affected populated area and the tasks that each sectors will be given during the crisis. The scenarios were designed in such as way that all government sectors were assigned tasks, in order to test their capabilities and coordination skills in case of disaster. This also helped the participants to improve their communication skills in disaster management and coordination.
Mr. Esmaeil Najjar, the Head of NDMO and Deputy Minister of Interior
The event was opened by Mr. Esmaeil Najjar, the Head of NDMO and Deputy Minister of Interior, who elaborated that organizing such workshops is not only important for the learning experience but also leads to exchange of ideas and experience among different sectors. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator gave a speech during the opening day, mainly appreciating Iranian Government’s efforts, particularly NDMO for organizing such important training events to be better prepared and coordinate for natural disasters. Furthermore, He encouraged Iran to join UNDAC and INSARAG networks as it will result to a more prepared Iran for disaster management and emergency response in case of a disaster.
UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Gary Lewis and Amir Hossein Barmaki, Head of OCHA HAT attended as observers in this workshop. The next workshop is planned to be held in Mashhad which would be a wrap up of all previous discussions in this setting. Dr. Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, Minister of Interior is expected to attend at Mashhad’s workshop as well.
Story by: Younes Zangiabadi
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