Garowe, October 22: The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) has held a three-day advocacy workshop that trained and sensitized participants on developing a lobby & advocacy strategy and action plan on disaster risk management.
The training held in Garowe from 19-21 October saw the participation of MAP executive committee members, staff, and local reporters selected from media outlets situated in the towns of Garowe and Gardho.
Organized under the multi-partner implemented Danwadaag initiative supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nairobi, the training aimed to educate participants on the know-how of developing strategies to advocate for their role in the prevention, response, and recovery of disasters in Puntland.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the training, Mohamed Dahir, MAP chair said enhancing community resilience requires effective disaster risk communication, and the media have a key role to play through positive, fact-based reporting on public awareness efforts.
He also said that this training is a follow-up to an introduction to the media’s role in disaster risk management training organized by MAP last July. He noted that this training is more advanced in the fact that this training will deep dive into the mechanics of developing advocacy strategies and action plans aimed at strengthening the media’s role in disaster risk management.
‘’I would like to highlight the ongoing efforts by local authorities and the international community aimed at aiding the drought-hit Somali population, reportedly the situation is so dire with 7.8million fellow Somalis affected by the drought…..
Adding, ‘’ The media needs to step up its role and take part in the ongoing efforts and that’s why we are here today to participate in this 3-day tailored course that will prepare participants to develop strategies to advocate for their role in the prevention, response, and recovery of disasters. Said chair Mohamed Dahir.
Participants were sensitized and trained during the 3-day period of the course on topics including Mapping the Puntland Advocacy Landscape including the advocacy Vehicles, and advocacy Targets; Elements of an effective DRM L&A strategy, as well as the successful implementation and monitoring of DRM L&A strategies. On the last day of the training, a Puntland media position paper on disaster risk management.
The trainer of this course, Kaafi Nidaam, speaking at the closure of the workshop highlighted that ‘’ When disasters happen, people turn to journalists to tell their story. Only journalists who understand DRM can communicate the actual story, allowing institutions to respond to tragedies efficiently. This training allows journalists to actively participate in disaster and risk prevention and response while also reporting on the victims’ experiences on a continuous basis’’
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, About 7.8 million Somalis have been affected by the worst drought in four decades since Somalia declared a drought emergency in November 2021, with more than 1 million displaced by drought including nearly 99,000 just in August 2022.
Famine is predicted to befall between October and December 2022 in regions of southern and central Somalia if aid is not ramped up and sustained, affecting at least 41% of the population through December. The danger of cholera and measles is increased in 6.4 million people’s lack of access to good water and sanitation, particularly in IDP camps (IDPs).
The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) is concerned with the current situation with droughts in Somalia that have driven millions of local population to flee their homes in search of water, food, and pasture due to the devastating famine that continues to wreak havoc on large portions of the country. The Association will soon be dispatching media teams to locations with populations affected by the droughts in Puntland in order to produce news stories capturing the real situation of the communities suffering as a result of the famine.
MAP in partnership with the state-wide Puntland mainstream media will soon be releasing a position paper on Disaster risk management in the region.