A total of 21 participants from the Royal Bhutan Police, Disaster Helpline and Communication Unit, DeSuung, Food Corporation of Bhutan and Fab Lab Bhutan attended a four-day Practical Emergency Logistics Training last week.

The World Food Programme and Department of Disaster Management organised the training as an initiative for Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan of the United Nations in Bhutan.

The training focused on installing Mobile Storage Units (MSU) and operating it as an ‘Emergency Logistics Hub.’ These Mobile Storage Units are halls that are solid, multi-purpose and quickly assembled without having to use any special tools.

A press release from WFP states that the combination of functionality, quality and flexibility has made this useful for the last 25 years for humanitarian communities during disasters.

The storage hall is expected to store just about anything and each unit can store up to 5,000 MT in weight and 1,600-meter cube in volume of goods. “These can be used to store humanitarian cargo which is essential for an effective and fast response to any disaster like tents, blankets, mats, medical kits, food and water containers.”

The World Food Programme has pre-positioned three such units in Bhutan as part of emergency preparedness. The training focused on preparing a core team for Bhutan to prepare and train on how to provide efficient and speedy logistics service.

Among the participants, a core team was identified who will henceforth conduct refreshers course and replicate similar trainings in other parts of Bhutan. The core team will play a critical role in installing and operating the Mobile Storage Units in the event of an emergency. “This was a first of its kind training. Mobile Storage Units can be transported deep inside disaster affected areas which can be easily installed and operated as a storage facility,” Head of Office, World Food Programme, Bhutan, Svante Helms said.

For the next five years, World Food Programme will lead from the United Nations in Bhutan activities and programs targeted towards preparing for disasters. Experts from World Food Programme Nepal facilitated the training.

Staff Reporter