The WADPI training programme, which is part of efforts to combat disaster outbreak in the sub-region, started from July 13 to November 30, 2015, but these two countries were excluded due to the ravaging Ebola pandemic which had engulfed their countries.
Since its launch, the programme had trained over 1,200 ECOWAS citizens from 12 countries including Cameroun; and more than 30 staff from the ECOWAS Commission in disaster management and rapid response.
ECOWAS, in collaboration with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Centre for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine, and the United States Air Forces Africa organised the programme which was sponsored by the US Africa Command (USAFRICOM), and Operation United Assistance Transition Disaster Preparedness Project.
The training is to utilise lessons learned from the recent Ebola epidemic, strengthen national capacities among 17 West/Central African Partner Nations and to implement an all-hazards approach to disaster preparedness and response management to ensure continued regional collaboration, communication and co-ordination between member states in disaster preparedness and response.
Air Commodore Julius S.K. Dzamefe, the Deputy Commandant, KAIPTC, said the WADPI was to implementing an all-hazards approach to disaster preparedness and response management to ensure continued regional collaboration, communication and co-ordination between member states in disaster preparedness and response.
He said the KAIPTC had, over the years, established itself as a Centre of Excellence for research into various areas of training for Disaster Management, Integrated Peace Support Operations and Post-conflict Reconstruction.
“The Centre, therefore, strives to train people to engage in these areas towards the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, and how to help rebuild war torn and disaster affected states. We do this through close collaboration with our regional and global partners,” he said.
Mr Kone Tanou, ECOWAS Ambassador to the United Nations, in a speech read on his behalf, said the impact of the Ebola virus disease on the sub-region showed that there was the need for effective collaboration among member states in combating disasters.
Brigadier General Francis Vib-Sanziri, NADMO Co-ordinator, called for capacity building of national disaster agencies in the sub-region to make them more proactive in fighting disasters.