Tanzania Inaugurates First Emergency Operation Centre

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As part of the effort to mitigate disaster management in the country, the Tanzanian government has inaugurated its first Emergency Operation and Communication Center (EOCC) Situation Room.

The centre is also the first national situation room to be set up under the African Union’s Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System (AMHEWAS) Programme.

According to the Tanzanian government the emergency and communication centre
marked a milestone in the country’s journey towards building disaster resilience.

It added that the centre was also welcomed by supporters of the EOCC Situation Room, including the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), which over two years provided technical support for its establishment, in partnership with the CIMA Foundation and with funding from the Government of Italy, through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

The government also explained that the centre would be working under the authority of the Prime Minister’s Office, and will work to combine real-time data on current and emerging risks with data on past disasters to issue timely forecasts and bulletins.

“These products, through the coordination and support of the Prime Minister’s office, will aim to trigger protective actions that can save lives, protect livelihoods and safeguard economic sectors,” it said.

In a statement, Dr. Jim. J. Yonazi, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office – Policy, Parliament and Coordination, stated, “We have launched this situation room here today, and it is going to really help Tanzania, to predict information on various kinds of disasters including flood, drought, etc.

“And this is very important for us to be able to plan strategies, on how we can prevent, but again if it happens, how to recover, and again how to provide more information to stakeholders on how to bring life back together.”

Kamal Kishore, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, said, “Today we launched the situation room in Dodoma Tanzania, this is an important milestone, the output, the synthetic outputs that will come out of this situation room will help us prepare communities on the ground to take anticipatory actions and protect lives and livelihoods .”

At the inauguration, UNDRR reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Tanzania to fully operationalize the new EOCC Situation Room, in coordination with the UN system and other partners.

Also present at the inauguration were representatives of UNDRR and the CIMA Research Foundation.

As part of this commitment, earlier this week, UNDRR’s Regional Office for Africa facilitated a workshop to train national officials on the use of an open-source system for real-time monitoring and forecasting of natural hazards. This tool will be utilized in the situation room to enable the issuing of advisories and bulletins to trigger early actions.

“Through the establishment of the situation room, all the warning entities like the TMA and the Ministry of Water plus the Prime Minister’s office will be sitting in the same room. So we’ll be there 24 7, and it’ll be very easy to convey the information from the warning entity to the disaster management department for easily taking measures in preparedness, to the community who will be at risk,” explained Kantamla Biseke Mafuru, Manager at Central Forecasting Office, Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA).