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  • Disaster Management Department, Office of National Security DMD/ONS
    OAU Drive, Tower Hill
    Freetown
    Sierra Leone

    Email: marymyek@yahoo.com
    Phone: +232 76 615 840

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Disaster Management Department, Office of National Security (DMD/ONS)

Governmental

- “A safer and resilient nation in which communities, economy and environment are better protected from negative impacts of hazards, through appropriate comprehensive disaster risk management”.

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Mission

- “A safer and resilient nation in which communities, economy and environment are better protected from negative impacts of hazards, through appropriate comprehensive disaster risk management”.

Disaster Reduction Goal

- Empower Sierra Leone to be capable of responding appropriately and timely to: (i) localized disasters in order to avoid them becoming national scale disasters; and (ii) respond to national scale disasters considering the importance of certain natural and man-made hazards and vulnerabilities, and

- Empower Sierra Leone to be capable of preventing: (i) existing risks becoming disasters, and (ii) potential risks becoming real risks.

Policies and Programmes in DRR

-Sierra Leone now has a reviewed, updated and validated National Disaster Risk Management Policy.

- Sierra Leone has developed a National Disaster Risk Management Strategy and Action Plan

- Sierra Leone has a national multi-hazard/risk profile for an effective Disaster Risk Management programme, an this is being updating to reflect emerging risk factors and other realities through the conduct of Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment

Sierra Leone has established a National Disaster Risk Reduction Platform with eleven (11) Thematic Groups/Areas, each addressing specific hazard conditions.

Membership in Key Networks

-The Disaster Management Department (DMD), Office of National Security (ONS) is a member of the UN Office for Disaster Reduction (UNDRR); the African Union (AU); and the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS); and the Mano River Union (MRU) basin. Other organizations as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN/OCHA), the World Bank, the European Union, etc. have all had some relationship with the DMD/ONS.

Making disaster risk reduction a policy priority, institutional strengthening (HFA 1)

- Following the implementation of the Agenda for Change as government's blueprint for poverty reduction and sustainable development, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) developed and adopted in 2013 the Agenda for Prosperity (AfP) as government's policy and strategy to attain a middle-level economy status by 2035 and ensure sustainable development. This document clearly prioritizes the transformation of the Disaster Management Department (DMD) of the Office of National Security (ONS) into a well established and capacitated National Agency for Disaster Risk Management at national and local levels. The document also talks of government's commitment to ensuring the mainstreaming of DRM and DRR into every sector's development plan.

- Sierra Leone has now reviewed, updated and validated her National DRM Policy.

- A national Strategy and Action Plan has been developed and validated as an annex to the Policy detailing the road-map for the full implementation of the policy, and this has clear budget and timelines

- The country is working on ensuring that the principles of International Disaster Response Law (IDRL) are adopted and adapted into the country's legal framework to facilitate international emergency responses to victims of natural and/or human-induced disasters.

Sierra Leone is now in the process of developing the Third National Communication on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) as a road-map for the strengthening of the Climate Change programme.

Since June 2011, Sierra Leone had established a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary National Disaster Risk Reduction Platform, but with little capacity to take on DRR at all levels.

- Sierra Leone has very little human and logistical resource capacity for an effective DRM programme. No budget allocation is made for DRM in the government's annual budget.

- The institutional basis for DRM remains weak on to the time of reporting.

Risk assessment and early warning systems (HFA 2)

- Sierra Leone has a national multi-hazards/risks profile

- A national vulnerability and capacity assessment is ongoing; VCA report exists on three administrative districts.

- The civil conflict in Sierra Leone devastated many, if not all, sectors. Sierra Leone had up to eleven (11) functional weather stations, but these were vandalized by the rebels in search of copper. Presently, Sierra Leone, through the UNDP and other partners has restored nine (9) Automatic Weather Stations added to the four (4) manual weather stations.

Presently, Sierra Leone has almost completed the establishment of the National Disaster Database using the UNDRR Desinventar methodology.

- There is limited capacity for disaster risk monitoring, assessment and reporting to communities and populations at-risk.

Education, information and public awareness (HFA 3)

- Public education and awareness on disaster risks/hazards has increased tremendously in the recent times. This has often spurred populations in highly at-risk communities on to embark on community-based Disaster Risk Reduction activities such community and inter-community sensitization programmes, general cleanings, etc.

- Several target-specific trainings have, and are being conducted at national and local levels to educated leaders/stakeholders and communities on disaster risks, vulnerabilities and capacities.

- Sierra Leone has not been able to have DRM as a stand-alone subject/module in her educational curriculum. However, about 5% of the educational curriculum of Sierra Leone has aspects of DRM embedded into various core subjects from Primary to tertiary levels.

- There is strong and regular engagement of the media (both print and electronics) for publications and broadcasting on DRR and DRM issues nationwide.

- Sierra Leone is still grappling with the development of technical and scientific capacities for research work on disaster risks, vulnerabilities and capacities for public education and increased awareness to enhance national and community level resilience building.

- Community outreach programmes to increase public sensitization and awareness are regularly conducted with support from development partners.

Reducing underlying risk factors (HFA 4)

- Sierra Leone now has a national environmental management policy with strong institutional basis for the full implementation of the policy and programmes of Agency in charge.

- Government makes budget allocation to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA-SL) for the full implementation of its programmes.

- Though efforts are being made to optimize the inherent benefits of our natural resources, very little has been achieved in harnessing them to impact the lives of the genera public. Visible signs of poverty and deprivation leading to landlessness are apparent; women and children still suffer the most.

- Up to the time of reporting, Sierra Leone is yet to have a land-use policy. There is an exponential urbanization following the end of the civil conflict; urban planning and effective land management still remains a huge challenge.

- Sierra Leone has standard building codes in existence in the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure (MWHI); however, these codes are not being implemented and/or enforced to enhance adherence.

- The rapid and massive urbanization after the war has resulted in population explosion in the urban areas leading to serious pressure on the limited resources; hence the high rate of deforestation, land degradation and the rapid emergence of informal settlements (Slums).

- Provisions for risk transfer remain latent in Sierra Leone. Gender issues become more pronounced when associated with the struggle for power between men and women, with little bearing on the socio-economic aspect (livelihood engagement - employment, etc).

Preparedness for effective response (HFA 5)

- Sierra Leone has sector-specific contingency plans for response to disasters as they relate to those sectors, i.e. health sector contingency plan, contingency plan on population movement, etc; but the country is yet to have an integrated, multi-sectoral and multi-hazard contingency plan for effective disaster response and recovery at national and local levels.

- Response to localized and national-scaled disasters have been entirely adhoc. Sierra Leone had established a National Emergency Response Trust Fund which sustainability has largely been dependent on pledges. Consequently, this fund has not been operational/effective.

- National budget allocation to disaster preparedness for response and recovery is still a huge challenge to the country. No warehouse stock with relief materials for quality and rapid response exist at national and local levels.

- Sierra Leone has not had any Emergency/Rapid Response Team (E/RRT) at national and local levels.

Other activities

- Coordination of stakeholders and partners meetings

- Burial of victims of disaster related events

- Dispute settlement among communities and persons

- Conduct of general security assessment and reporting

Making Cities Resilient Campaign Activities

- Commemoration the International Day for Disaster Reduction

- Establishment of Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction Volunteers

- Public education and awareness raising programmes (regular radio and television discussions, jingles, short video documentaries)

- Establishment of Schools clubs for disaster risk reduction

- Establishment of District Disaster Management Committees (DDMCs)

- Response to localized disasters

- community and inter-community sensitization programmes using our community volunteers

Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)

Mary Mye-Kamara,
Director of the Disaster Management Department
Office of National Security.
Mobile Phone Numbers: +232 76 615840
+232 33 615840

Websites

http://www.ons-dmdsl.org

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  • OAU Drive, Tower Hill Freetown Sierra Leone

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