The Department of Disaster Management under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with Dzongkhag Administration, Haa, began a four-day sensitization programme on Disaster Risk Management, Incident Command System (ICS) training and a tabletop simulation exercise from 18 – 21 May 2022. The programme is aimed at building capacity of the officials of Dzongkhag Administration, regional offices, newly elected local government leaders including representatives from De-Suung and Bhutan Red Cross Society of Haa Dzongkhag. One of the main objectives of this program is also to review and update the Dzongkhag Disaster Management and Contingency Plan (DMCP) through the conduct of tabletop simulation exercise. Such programme will enhance the preparedness and response capabilities of the local government functionaries during the times of disaster.
The Department of Disaster Management has received a financial support from the World Food Programme (WFP) Bhutan, to take forward the program in different Dzongkhags. Similar programmes will be conducted in Trashigang, Trashiyangtse and Zhemgang Dzongkhags within the first week of June. For the programme in Haa Dzongkhag, the Department of Disaster Management has also received technical assistance from the US-Forest Service.
During the next three days, the facilitators will provide sessions on overview of disaster management in Bhutan, Terms and Concepts used in Disaster Management, Key Safety messages on DRR, Non-structural/falling hazard mitigation, ICS orientation/training and a Tabletop Simulation Exercise based on simulated scenarios and interjects focused on earthquake. The simulation exercise will test out the efficacy of response, communication and coordination among the Incident Management Teams (IMT) involved during disaster in the Dzongkhag. The final day of the programme, will also include a review and update of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management and Contingency Plan (DMCP) of Haa Dzongkhag based on the observations and recommendations of the simulation exercise.