A simulation exercise to test the country’s readiness to respond effectively in times of major earthquake is ongoing.
The exercise dubbed “Lignite Coast Preparedness 2022, Exercise Shikpon Wosomo” is being carried out by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and its security agencies in collaboration with the Government of the United States of America and the North Dakota National Guard.
It is being funded by the Givernmebr of the United States of America through its embassy in Accra to test the level of preparedness of the various emergency response agencies and cooperation and collaboration between these agencies.
The exercise was carried out at the Canoe Village and the Fish Market, at the Tema Fishing Harbour with all the security agencies and the Ghana Health Service actively supporting each other to save lives and evacuate “casualties” of the victims for treatment.
Professor Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria, the Chief Executive Officer, National Ambulance Service, commended the efforts of the various response agencies and described the exercise as successful.
He said the police are the first to arrive at every disaster scene to condone and secure the place, followed by the fire service to decontaminate casualties from the spillage before handing them over to the emergency ambulance service to evacuate the victims for treatment.
“We have seen cordial cooperation and collaboration from all the emergency response agencies throughout all levels of the exercise and l can say it was a very successful event,” he added.
Alhassan Mohammed Massawud, the Incident Commander for the exercise, National Ambulance Service, said their major challenge was the unavailability of open space to stage their equipment to give first aid to victims before evacuating them for treatment.
He also reiterated the need for the mandated authorities to make conscious efforts to create more open spaces within their authority to cater for future disasters.
Ghana is not immune to earthquake events. The last destructive earthquake recorded in the country happened in 1939 and claimed 17 lives in Accra and several buildings were razed down.