Region Two residents get disaster risk management training

Georgetown, Guyana , May 29, 2012 (CDC) - Thirty-eight residents of Region Two representing six entities were trained in disaster risk reduction and management by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) last week at Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast.
The two-day training was held on May 15 and 16. According to a CDC release, the training was provided in collaboration with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) which has its coastal battalion headquartered on the Essequibo Coast.  The participants were drawn from the GDF, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Fire Service, the Regional Public Health Service, the Charity Hospital and a Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).

As part of its mandate, the GDF Coastal Battalion is expected to play a critical role in the execution of Disaster Risk Management (DRM), and response activities in the communities where they are operational in the event of emergencies, or disasters.

During intense interactive sessions, the participants studied modules presented on data gathering, DRM in Guyana, damage assessment and needs analysis systems in Guyana, and teamwork. They were evaluated at the end of each presentation and were also engaged in a field exercise which required a demonstration of the lessons learnt, particularly as it related to damage assessment.Participants with CDC Operations and Training Officer Major Kester Craig (blue shirt) at the conclusion of the DRM training (CDC photo)

According to CDC Operations and Training Officer Major Kester Craig, the results were pleasing though he acknowledged that it could have been better had the training been scheduled over a greater number of days.

“The participants were enthusiastic and were successful at identifying vulnerabilities and hazards affecting the Anna Regina community,” he said. “This is critical for any layman to be able to do and much more so, DRM personnel who are required to take action during calamitous occurrences. Once they know what the hazards and vulnerabilities are, they can at the basic level, take a commonsense approach to helping to reduce the risk,” he added.

Major Craig said that several persons have been identified for further training, which will be geared toward enabling them to become instructors. They will then be able to continue training in the region. The DRM training was conducted in the context of Civil-Military (Civ-Mil) capacity building, which is the rationale for the involvement of members from the joint services and civil institutions.

He noted that in Guyana, the primary hazard is flooding and often demands Civ-Mil collaboration.

Major Craig said the combination of skill sets is extremely valuable, especially when one considers the response requirements for personnel and equipment.  The training is to be replicated in Regions Three and Six as early as next month.