A three-day simulation exercise to test the readiness and resistance of local communities to disasters was held
As part of the Joint Program of the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations "Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for Sustainable Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina", a three-day disaster simulation exercise was held in Prijedor from November 28 to 30, 2022, which concluded with a demonstration of a rescue operation in realistic conditions and providing first aid.
During the first two days, exercises were held where over 50 representatives of the DRR Platforms from Bijeljina, Bihać, Sanski Most, Trebinje, Prijedor, Banja Luka, Kakanj and Gradačac tested local plans, procedures, and systems to assess the readiness of local communities to respond to disasters, and on the third day, a demonstration exercise of the rescue operation was held on the right bank of the Sana River.
The demonstration exercise was conducted by trained and certified professionals, together with units of water and underwater rescue services, rescue from heights, medical care, as well as firefighting units from Prijedor, Bijeljina, Banja Luka, Bihać and Sarajevo.
Simulation exercises, as a practical implementation of priority 4 of the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction, play an important role in promoting a culture of disaster risk reduction and are a very effective tool for additional development of skills and readiness through practical experience.
The challenges that local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina face during crises, emergencies and/or disasters, from coordination and security to possible administrative and technical difficulties, can be reduced by regular simulation exercises.
“Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina” is 7.1 million KM worth Joint Programme of the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations (UN), implemented by the UN agencies: UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFPA and FAO in partnership with domestic authorities. The Joint Programme aims to address key disaster risk reduction (DRR) priorities identified by 10 local governments and various stakeholders across various sectors: protection and rescue, education, social and child protection, health, and agriculture. The Programme puts special emphasis on improving local DRR coordination mechanisms, as well as affirming risk -informed strategic planning processes with focus on the most vulnerable population groups.