Tanzania Opens First National Emergency Operations Center

Tanzania recently inaugurated its first Emergency Operation and Communication Center (EOCC) Situation Room that is set to play the essential role of early warning for the preparation and safeguarding of lives. This became the first national situation room created under the African Union’s Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System (AMHEWAS) Programme.

This event is a significant step in building Tanzania’s disaster resilience as the climate change impacts are increasingly severe. The EOCC Situation Room received technical support over two years from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the CIMA Foundation, and funding from the Government of Italy through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

Operating under the Prime Minister’s Office, the EOCC Situation Room will use real-time data on current and emerging risks, combined with historical disaster data, to issue forecasts and bulletins. These will help trigger protective actions to save lives, protect livelihoods, and safeguard economic sectors.

Ms. Jenista Mhagama, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, stated that the EOCC Situation Room will facilitate multi-hazard monitoring for early warning and action, mitigating impacts on lives, infrastructure, and the environment. It will also coordinate multi-sectoral efforts during disasters for effective response and recovery.

The establishment of this facility in Tanzania was supported by the Government of Italy through AICS, in collaboration with the UNDRR and CIMA Research Foundation. Mr. Marco Riccardo Rusconi, Director of AICS, highlighted Italy’s expertise in disaster risk reduction and emphasized the collaboration between Italian and African stakeholders.

Mr. Kamal Kishore, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR, praised Tanzania’s accomplishment, noting its contribution to an Africa-wide network of multi-hazard early warning systems.

Mr. Luca Ferraris, President of the CIMA Research Foundation, added that the EOCC Situation Room will enhance Tanzania’s capacity to protect its population and livelihood by using innovative technology and trained staff to produce impact-based early warnings.

UNDRR reconfirmed its commitment to supporting Tanzania in operationalizing the EOCC Situation Room. A recent workshop facilitated by UNDRR trained national officials on using an open-source system for real-time monitoring and forecasting of natural hazards, which will be used in the situation room.

According to UNDRR, countries with advanced early warning systems have significantly lower disaster mortality rates. Despite these benefits, only 45% of African countries report having such systems. The UN Secretary-General’s Early Warnings for All initiative aims to accelerate the establishment of these systems across Africa, integrating Tanzania’s EOCC Situation Room into the AMHEWAS network to enhance cross-border cooperation on common hazards.

The AMHEWAS network, supported by Italian Cooperation, includes centers at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development in Niamey, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-Climate Prediction and Applications Centre in Nairobi.

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