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Partnering with Local Actors on Capacity Strengthening Initiatives
The Field Based Preparedness Project (FBPP) was launched in Sierra Leone in February 2021 to support the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA). The FBPP is building on existing structures and capabilities to assist NDMA in responding to national emergencies through the implementation of the endorsed National Action Plan which includes capacity strengthening activities such as Warehouse Management trainings.
The first warehouse management training was conducted in Freetown in June 2022 and aimed at supporting NDMA and local actors such as the Red Cross Society and Local Government Councils to strengthen their warehouse management systems. The evaluation of that first training provided key recommendations and steps needed to support the implementation of the newly launched National Prepositioning Strategy which seeks to enable NDMA to reduce response lead time. Prepositioning relief materials will promote efficient response as the gap between procurement and distribution will be reduced. Part of the recommendations included the need to conduct the same training at subnational level to promote efficient and cost-effective storage and handling of relief items at all levels. The FBPP supported the relocation of mobile storage units which will be utilized for storage of prepositioned relief items. As a result, training sessions were held in the Bo and Makeni districts. These two districts were prioritized by NDMA as they are prone to disaster due to floods and windstorms in the country.
The training sessions in Bo (17-19 October 2022) and Makeni (24-26 October 2022) were successful with a total number of thirty and twenty-nine participants, respectively, from different organisations including the National Disaster Management Agency (Freetown, Port Loko, Bo and Makeni), Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Sierra Leone Police, Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, the Local Councils (Bo, Makeni and Bombali) and World Vision.
The training was conducted at district level to enhance local capacity and reinforce local leadership. Participants from the national level training successfully delivered some of the sessions at district-level and contributed to the continued learning cycle. The district sessions also represented a networking opportunity for participants to discuss further local coordination challenges, best practices, and explore their interconnected roles and responsibilities in preparation for future emergencies.