New GARD trainings launched in Denpasar, Bali and Kupang, West Timor
Bonn, 11/08/2011, 10:45 AM CET
The Indonesian government, Deutsche Post DHL and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today launched the “Get Airports Ready For Disaster” (GARD) training programme in Indonesia. After an initial training at Makassar and Palu airports in 2009, this year’s training takes place at the Ngurah Raih airport Denpasar, Bali and El Tari in Kupang, West Timor.
Supported by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the GARD training mainly aims to prepare airport personnel to cope during the aftermath of a disaster. This year’s training is organized and funded by the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation and is an expansion of the first GARD training which was launched in Jakarta in 2009.
Efficient airport logistics
“This training is very useful for airport personnel in disaster-prone regions or in the proximity of those regions to enable them to take effective and immediate measures during disasters, said Herry Bakti, Director-General of Air Transportation from The Ministry of Transportation.
Carl Schelfhaut, Head of International Relations & Disaster Management Asia Pacific for DP DHL, expressed a similar view: “We’ve gathered enough experience in disaster recovery and relief to understand that efficient airport logistics is critical when it comes to getting aid to the people who need it most. The GARD initiative allows us to share our logistics expertise with local communities in disaster-free times. Existing GARD beneficiaries in addition to Indonesia include Nepal and Bangladesh.”
With the funding from the Australia-Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction (AIFDR) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID), the GARD training is also part of UNDP’s commitment to provide support in the areas of disaster management in Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.
The frontline of response
“Over the past decade, UNDP has been supporting the government of Indonesia in creating the necessary institutions and laws for efficient disaster prevention and management while strengthening the capacities of communities to manage and reduce the risks of disasters,” said Beate Trankmann, Country Director UNDP Indonesia. “This training is organized in partnership with DHL, which prepares selected airports in Indonesia for disaster relief operations. This is very relevant for the country as airports often times constitute the frontline of response in the aftermath of a disaster.”
The training mainly focuses on logistic management and trainees are expected to produce contingency plans during disaster. Warehouse space management, for example, is one of the program’s focus areas. Trainees are instructed in assessing storage options for relief goods and whether the necessary equipment such as forklifts, pallets, gloves and boxes, is available for cargo handling.
A safety plan is a key feature of the training, explained Joachim Keppler, Program Manager for GARD at Deutsche Post DHL: “The plan for the GARD training is to become a staple in each airport’s annual safety drill which includes dealing with aircraft accidents and fire safety exercises. This will help continuously enhance the airport’s readiness for disasters as well as transfer knowledge to the officials and employees. Once trained, the participants will evaluate their contingency plan on a regular basis and be prepared to work with local NGOs, the government and airport officials in the event of a crisis.”
Corporate Responsibility is an integral part of Deutsche Post DHL’s strategy and focus on the topics protecting the environment (GoGreen), delivering help (GoHelp) and championing education (GoTeach). The GARD concept was the natural next step for Deutsche Post DHL in its commitment to humanitarian relief, which began with the Disaster Response Team (DRT) program. The DRTs have been deployed to over 20 airports since 2005. The DRTs, which work free of charge and in close cooperation with the UN, help keep the flow of incoming relief goods moving at disaster-site airports.