Because everyone loves pictures, I thought I would visually show you what we did during our Joint Programme monitoring visit to our implementing partners in Zanzibar (don’t worry, I spare you the details).

For those that don’t know, the Joint Programme for Emergencies in Tanzania consists of  UN partners  to collaborate on activities in emergency preparedness and response. On this particular mission there were representatives from UNDP, FAO, WHO, UNICEF, and WFP.

This was one of UNICEF’s first visit to the newly named 2nd Vice Presidents Office – Department of Disaster Management (formerly known as the Chief Ministers Office – DMD)*.

*Why the name change? As previously mentioned, in Zanzibar’s new constitution, after the recent election the party which comes second in elections will hold the position of First vice president while the winning party will take second vice president.

Our meeting covered new Disaster Management plans and policies, and were able to watch one of the TV dramas they made to educate the public on disaster management. It was actually really good, and hilarious to see some of the people from around the 2nd PMO-DMD office acting in the video. For those curious, I will try later to post it here.

We were also able tour the newly built “situation room” and see the new radio systems (pictured above), provided through JP 6.2.  The situation room has new laptops, wireless internet, a TV — all which can be used for easier dissemination of information, coordination and response to an emergency. We have a similar one in Dar es salaam.

We were also able to visit local Shehias (head of local (municipal) government), where participants of a disaster management training program talked about their experiences (pictured above).

In the picture below, you can see the meeting that we are having with a female Shehia and training participants. I really like this picture because it captures the atmosphere of a lot of the meetings with local government. You find a nice big tree and lay down some mats. It feels like a real treat given the long days that we have in the office, much like the feeling when a laid back professor proposes to have the lecture outside.

Although we had a few more visits in office building, I sadly did not take pictures (offices do not make for good picture moments — well most of the time). Below is one of our last visits to an emergency preparedness warehouse that was recently stocked with supplies.  It holds enough for 7,000 people for the first 72 hours of an emergency. All of the items inside are non-food items (those warehouses are under WFP) or medicine (WHO), but with blankets, cooking pots, kangas, mats, tarps, etc.

I tried to keep this short so please feel free to ask me about specific activities, etc.