Minister of Rural and Urban Development Sophia Shaningwa says some local authorities still face challenges of rendering proper and adequate emergency services to their communities when the need arises. This, she said, is mainly due to a lack of qualified fire and emergency personnel.
She was speaking at an event for five newly trained Namibian rescue instructors and 132 other emergency response personnel. “The trained instructors have now acquired the necessary skills that would enable them to carry out and equip fellow Namibians at various local authorities and the country at large, as they have been doing for the past two months,” Shaningwa noted.
The RESPOND training programme, funded with US$700 000 from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance, was implemented by Rescue South Africa and trained a total of 316 Namibians in emergency response management.
Deputy Chief of Mission in the US embassy John Kowalski said Namibia is prone to natural disasters, primarily the effects of climate change, which could make future disasters more frequent and more dangerous.
“By supporting this dedicated group of individuals, we’ve bolstered the quality and quantity of trained urban search and rescue technicians. This will have lasting and life-saving effects in Namibia,” said Kowalski.
Minister Shaningwa also expressed gratitude to all who made the training possible.