Rubavu, Western Province, will be the venue of a four-day international conference on disaster management slated for July 11-15.
The conference that will attract participants from USA, Ghana, Nigeria and the East African nations will be the first of this kind in Rwanda.
Speaking to The New Times, the Director of Disaster Management, Justin Kayira, said the training would help identify gaps that need to be filled in terms of responding to disasters.
“It will help us in measuring our capacity to respond to disaster. We have been putting much emphasis on floods, but now we also want to know how to fight epidemics like influenza, cholera and others.”
Asked about the current status of preparedness in the country, Kayira highlighted that the ministry had purchased all necessary equipment like fire extinguishers as well as cutting machines.
The “Rwanda National Government Pandemic Disaster Response Table Top Exercise”, will focus on training of disaster management, humanitarian assistance and counteracting pandemic diseases.
The Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Gen.Marcel Gatsinzi, believes that the training is a good platform to help the country acquire adequate knowledge in responding to the outbreak of disasters in the country.
“This training is yet another way for Rwanda to secure the knowledge and expertise its needs to respond both quickly and effectively to any unpredicted disaster situation we may encounter”, he said.
“The focus on counteracting pandemic diseases is part of our effort to be one step ahead and maintain prevention focused attitude in our fight against these diseases,” the minister added.
During the workshop, participants will be imparted with technical skills on disaster management as well as share experiences with experts from different countries.
The objective of the workshop is also to promote interoperability and enhance the capacity of the government to respond to complex humanitarian emergencies as well as identifying national and regional opportunities for improvement to assist in the development of multi-country response mechanism to pandemics and all hazards.
The workshop is organised by Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees Affair (MIDMAR) together with United States African Command (USAFRICOM)