“Among all the trainings I have attended throughout my career, this is the first time that a simulation is this close to reality.”
Madagascar, an island country located in the southwestern Indian Ocean, is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, affected on average by one to two cyclones per year. Since Cyclone Enawo in March 2017, one of the strongest tropical cyclones to ever strike Madagascar, the country has intensified its preparedness efforts to better anticipate potential natural hazards. As part of these efforts, the Bureau National de la Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC) and WFP Madagascar, supported by the Logistics Cluster, have implemented the emergency preparedness project to increase resilience and enhance capacity strengthening.
In this context, the first ever Logistics Response Team (LRT) Training conducted in French was organised in Tamatave from 31 May to 5 June 2019. This five-day emergency simulation attended by 24 participants representing 13 organisations was the perfect opportunity for national and regional actors to share best practices. Here is a sneak peek into the LRT Madagascar from the perspective of participants, facilitators and organisers.
Cyril Seguy, Emergency Logistics Coordinator at Oxfam – Logistics Cluster Secondee organising the LRT from Madagascar since April and facilitator during the training.
"At organisational level, the LRT is one of the main trainings offered by the Logistics Cluster, which requires a lot of precision and details. When I first arrived in Madagascar mid-April, I realised that for several reasons the organisation of this edition was highly ambitious. In addition to be the first ever LRT training in French, it was also the first time that a significant part of the training was organised by a government agency - the BNGRC.
The incredible motivation of the BNGRC combined with the great support of WFP Madagascar and a solid group of experienced logisticians facilitating this simulation made this training a real success. I would like to emphasise that all of this could not have been done without the participation and commitment of the BNGRC and WFP Madagascar. This LRT training is part of a real desire to increase capacity not only at national level but also at regional level. This commitment fully reflects the vision of Lieutenant Colonel Faly, our main interlocutor from the BNGRC, whose main objective is to strengthen national capacities while collaborating with all regional actors.
From a facilitator point of view, my main observation is that participants were totally involved in the simulation, they were also particularly attentive to advice and criticism, which resulted in valuable debriefings benefiting both participants and facilitators. Being part of the LRT Madagascar journey was a real pleasure!"
Ratsaraaka Solomandresy, Humanitarian Program Officer representing United Nations Population Fund Madagascar as a participant.
"Among all the trainings I have attended throughout my career, this is the first time that a simulation is this close to reality. Having responded myself to numerous humanitarian crises in Madagascar, I can say that the intensity, the conditions and the emotions encountered during this exercise replicates almost perfectly what happens when an emergency strikes.
I am convinced that this training will help us a lot here in Madagascar, especially considering the important number of local participants. This LRT will strengthen us personally, give us more confidence, but also strengthen our organisations and therefore the national capacity. Beyond that, this week was not only the occasion to meet all the humanitarian actors involved in emergencies but also gave us an optimal setting to learn how to work together and share our personal expertise and skills. Overall, this Logistics Cluster training allowed us to form a strong team ready to better face humanitarian crises in the future through coordinated efforts."
Silvia Regina Machehane, Logistician representing Mozambique National Disasters Management Institute (INGC) as a participant.
"I feel very lucky and happy to be part of this LRT training today. I came here with the objective to learn how to organise, filter and manage critical information to help affected communities during emergency responses. This five-day intensive exercise did more than just providing me with this knowledge, it taught me how work together and coordinate efforts to reach our common goal – saving lives. Now, I will try to bring all the things I’ve learned from this simulation with me in Mozambique and put them into practice.
Aside from the content of the training itself, this LRT showed us a vision – The Regional Approach. Having participants and facilitators from different countries of the same region coming and working together was amazing and made us realise that we have a lot to learn from each other. I strongly believe that by using such a regional coordinated approach during the Idai and Kenneth Cyclones, it would have helped us achieve a more efficient response!"
Lieutenant-Colonel Faly, Project Coordinator for the BNGRC and facilitator during the training.
"This training was a great success thanks to the participation of many contributors, both those who facilitated this training and the participants. It is a truly enriching training that has exceeded our expectations. Since we are in the process of formalising and standardising preparedness activities in Madagascar, this training came at the right time because it gave us the tools, methods and expertise to continue the work we already started.
Furthermore, as participants all came to this training with their own specialised competencies, the LRT enabled them to harmonise their skills into a common and complementary knowledge base, which ultimately will allow us to strengthen our working relationships to be more efficient.
In a world where Madagascar is a high-risk country in terms of cyclones, I think that the crucial takeaway the participants will benefit from this training is to work together in cohesion. We really need to bring all the actors together to learn how to coordinate and this training was a first step towards this approach."
For more information on Logistics Cluster preparedness activities in Madagascar, visit our dedicated preparedness page here.
For more information on Logistics Cluster trainings, visit our dedicated training page here.