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WFP Boosts Disaster Management Authority

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WFP Boosts Disaster Management Authority

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The United Nations World Food Programme has officially handed over the main logistics base in Port Loko to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).

Established in late 2014, the logistics base was part of the humanitarian response to Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) under the Logistics Pillar and is one of several forward logistics bases with others at strategic locations in Makeni and Kenema.

The logistics base is intended to serve and support all humanitarian partners in Sierra Leone on the coordination, management, movement and handling of supplies including those received through Lungi Airport. The base has also been used by UN Agencies and NGOs to store items.

The base has 37 mobile storage units (MSU) that provide over 18,800 square meters of secure covered storage. It also has a fully equipped training/conference room and is strategically placed as it can be easily accessed from Lungi International Airport and emergency response items can be delivered from there to most parts of the country within 24 hours.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Country Representative and Director, Steve Nsubuga thanked the Paramount Chief of Bakeloko chiefdom for generously providing the land and acknowledged the cooperation of the various local stakeholders over the 6 years that the logistics base has been operational.

Over the period, the logistics base was able to effectively offer a host of services including equipment handling, storage services, telecommunications support, security assessment, site services, rapid response training and facility management training

WFP is handing over the facility the NDMA as part of its transition strategy, ensuring that capacity to prepare for and respond to various emergencies is vested in the national Institution.

“WFP hopes and expects that the same level of support and collaboration will be extended to NDMA by all stakeholders,” said Steve.

In his response on behalf of the NDMA, The Director General, Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Brima Sesay said that the handover of the facility marks a milestone in the collaboration between WFP and the Agency noting that it will enhance its capacity to prepare for and respond to localized disasters.

“We are grateful to WFP for financing the administrative costs of running the facility for the period of 3 months up to end July 2021,” he said.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Babatunde Ahonsi in an interview said that the handover of this logistics base to the NDMA was a statement of the seriousness of the UN in supporting the Government ‘s emergency preparedness and response coordination capacity.

“Given that Sierra Leone is a disaster-prone country vulnerable to natural disasters, health emergencies and the effects of climate change. This infrastructure will strengthen NDMA’s capacity to respond effectively and promptly to emergencies,” he said.

The Ceremony ended with a tour of the facility and a handover of a pickup truck by WFP to the District Corona virus Emergency response center (DICOVERC) Port Loko to support the fight against the ongoing pandemic.

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