Nagaland Chief Secretary Highlights Need For Disaster Preparedness - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland Chief Secretary highlights need for disaster preparedness

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Oct 31, 2023 9:57 pm

Nagaland Emergency Preparedness Exercise scheduled for November 2

J Alam, Abhijit Sinha, Mohammed Ali Shihab, Neidilhou Angami and others during the launch of the Nagaland Disaster Statistics 2023 at ATI Kohima on October 31. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — Chief Secretary of Nagaland, J Alam on Tuesday emphasised the importance of disaster preparedness and the need for state readiness exercises as the state prepares to conduct the Nagaland Emergency Preparedness Exercise (NEPEx) on November 2.

Speaking at the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA)’s NEPEx capacity development programme at ATI Kohima, Alam, who is also the chairperson of the State Executive Committee (SEC), underscored the unpredictable nature of disasters and its timing.

In view of this, he stressed the importance of preparedness for all types of disasters, more so because Nagaland is in a disaster-prone zone.

“The closer we are to simulating the actual disaster, the better our preparedness,” he asserted.

Alam also stressed the significance of role clarity and encouraged the officials to have a clear understanding of their respective roles, while lauding the NSDMA for providing well-defined guidelines on hierarchy, roles and responsibilities.

Additionally, he appreciated the close coordination and liaison with the Air Force, NDRF, Army, and other agencies, which provided invaluable knowledge and expertise to assist the state in managing disaster situations.

Encouraging the NSDMA to create a comprehensive resource inventory within the state to address various scenarios, he suggested the importance of preparedness and the capacity to establish makeshift hospitals promptly, emphasising the potential for significant savings.

The chief secretary also expressed confidence that the event would prove beneficial to the participants while assuring the support of the government.

Major General Sudhir Bahl (Retired), Senior Consultant (ME & IRS) at the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), highlighted the importance of preparedness in addressing a range of situations and effective utilisation of technology in disaster management; collaborative efforts with uniformed forces, community awareness, and engagement with volunteers.

Earlier in the programme, Abhijit Sinha, Home Commissioner and CEO of NSDMA Nagaland, delivered the welcome address.

The ‘1st report on Nagaland Disaster Statistics 2023’ published by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics was also launched at the event.

Mock exercise: NEPEx

Later, addressing the media, Johnny Ruangmei, Joint Chief Executive Officer of NSDMA, informed that the sixth state-wide NEPEx will be held on November 2 with government agencies and community first responders at the state level and district level.

Informing that Village Disaster Management Authority (VDMA) and school children will also participate in the exercise, he said the objective of involving schools is to create a safer next generation.

He said that October 13 is observed annually as the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction, and as such, the NSDMA had conducted a conclave in Kohima with the VDMAs. He also claimed that Nagaland is the only state that has notified VDMA.

Ruangmei informed that during the NEPEx, which will involve almost everyone in the state, a situation akin to a 7.1 magnitude earthquake would be simulated.

While stressing the importance of NEPEx, Maj Gen Sudhir Bahl, stated that earthquakes cannot be predicted, and thus the need for preparedness. He emphasised the unique aspect of NEPEx, which lies in its involvement of multiple stakeholders, including central and state agencies.

Pointing out that disaster response is not solely the responsibility of the government but a shared obligation among all citizens, he underscored the significance of public awareness and adherence to safety protocols in the event of any disaster.

Meanwhile, Commissioner and Secretary, Lhouchalie Viya, while responding to a query, explained that the department was assigned the task of establishing an acute care hospital in the vicinity of the Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR) during the COVID pandemic, and they were exploring the possibility of introducing mobile hospital units.

Ruangmei added that the acute care hospital near CIHSR was constructed within a 90-day timeframe. Currently, they are investigating the potential use of inflatable tent-like structures and prefabricated hospital buildings that can be folded and inflated for flexibility.

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Oct 31, 2023 9:57:06 pm
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