DMISA 2021 webinar held on 17 and 18 March 2021
The Disaster Management Institute of Southern Africa (DMISA) held its 2021 conference online on 17 and 18 March 2021. The webinar, themed ‘Impact and influence: Enhancing strategy and execution in disaster, risk and resilience management’ was well attended, featuring local and international speakers with Royal Haskoning DHV as the major sponsor. DMISA’s deputy president, Owen Becker, welcomed DMISA EXCO and board members, DMISA members, presenters and attendees and held the traditional minute of silence for all the lives lost and those who served during those times of need.
Session 1 was a consultative workshop, ‘Review of the National Disaster Management Framework’ with an introduction, overview, orientation and panel discussion by panel members Dr Claire Davis-Reddy of SAEON, Dr Yvonne Walz of UNU-EHS, Dr Alice Ncube of DiMTEC UFS, Prof Joerg Szarzynski of GLOMOS, UNU-EHS and Prof Dewald van Niekerk of ACDS NWU and was chaired by Ané Bruwer of the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) and facilitated by Prof Andries Jordaan of Résilience Globale. Prof Jordaan has been contracted to manage the gap analysis process for the review of the National Disaster Management Framework. Session 1 was indeed a very interesting and informative discussion around the challenges faced within the disaster management fraternity in South Africa with panel members citing that although the current Framework is very clear, it is lacking in monitoring, evaluating and accountability systems. The location of disaster management within local and district municipality structures are also of major concern. It was said that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted shortcomings in the current Framework and disaster management and risk reduction structures.
This was followed by a presentation on the Incident Command System (ICS) by Chief Timothy Murphy, Africa Disaster Management Technical Specialist for USDA Forest Service International Programmes. Chief Murphy discussed the history, development and implementation of ICS, which was followed by a presentation by Mebrat Senusi, Ethiopia Programme Operations Specialist for the US Forest Service International Programmes, who discussed Ethiopia’s NIMS adaptation and utilisation.
DMISA president, Dr M Nxumalo and day two’s programme director, Lebogang Mosotho, DMISA EXCO, welcomed all on the second day of the webinar, announcing the loss of the Tanzanian president, John Magufuli, due to heart complications.
Dr Johan Minnie provided a presentation on ‘Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) today: In-flight adjustments’ citing five main points ie the importance of solid information, situational awareness, teamwork, qualifications the maintenance of equipment.
Dr Mmaphaka Tau, Head of Centre at the NDMC discussed the DRR strategy and execution: Perspectives from the South African National Disaster Management Centre saying, “We have to account to those we represent.” Dr Tau provided an overview of the strategic goal and outcome of the function and the strategic pillars underscoring the function. He also discussed the national operating model and the national and provincial operating model interface. He furthermore provided the delivery on the KPAs and Enablers, delivery on fire services and the key strategic actions going forward.
Dr Jonas Mphepya, executive: Weather and Climate Service at the South African Weather Service (SAWS) shared DRR strategy and execution: Perspectives from the South African Weather Service followed by several presentations, including Feroza Albertus of DFFE on IMOrg, National Oil Spill Contingency Plan update and the IMS Toolkit; Geoff Laskey of GLRRcc on ‘Assessing and addressing the social impact of pandemics: a disaster risk management perspective; Charissa da Costa van der Berg of Aivia and Corle Jansen of Conservation South Africa on ‘Implementing ecosystem-based adaptation’; Dr Johanes Amate Belle of UFS DiMTEC who discussed turning hazards into opportunities through ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation with a case study of the Moolmanshoek wetland in the Free State Province in South Africa; Francis Hoets of DMS NPO on ‘Reflecting on the mainstreaming of DRR within Local Government: Current realities, opportunities and challenges and Emilie Canova, GI WACAF project manager for IMO/IPIECA who discussed the GI WACAF Mission and measuring progress in oil spill preparedness.
Proposed conference resolutions
1. The conference supports the National Disaster Management Centre in the revision of the National Disaster Management Policy Framework.
2. The conference urges that the content of the papers presented be used as a source to inform the revision of the National Disaster Management Policy Framework.
3. The conference proposes that the National Disaster Management Centre coordinates the development of an all-hazard Incident Management System for South Africa.
4. The conference supports the placement of disaster management centres in the highest office in all three spheres of government.
5. The conference supports the National Disaster Management Centre regarding the strengthening of monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of Disaster Risk Management in South Africa
6. That DMISA and the South African Weather Service strengthen their relationship, especially regarding awareness and capacitation in the fields of early warning systems, marine warnings and the emission monitoring.
An indepth overview will be published in the Disaster Management Journal, the official journal of DMISA.
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