Special Experience

Disaster Risk Reduction – Establishment of Social Enterprise – Goma 2015

As know, the Eastern part of DR Congo is still within the state of transition between ongoing emergencies and development. While having started to work in Goma after the volcanic eruption (2003) and developed within short time a water supply for the new site development of Mugunga through my NGO Yme Foundation, I was supporting a local NGO through all these years to further develop concepts and models to provide water not only to IDPs but also to a growing resident population of Goma. Today, Yme Grands Lacs is supplying water to 100’000 IDPs and probably 300’000 residents. The next step has just started to develop the NGO into a service provider in the WASH sector with business-like approaches to achieve sustainability and continuity in deliveries, finally to increase resilience of the population. This project is in close cooperation with Mercy Corps and support from DFID.

Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction Capacity Assessment, Sao Tomé & Principe, UNDAC February 2015

As part of a cooperation between UNDAC and CADRI, the disaster preparedness and risk reduction capacity of Sao Tome & Principe was assessed and mapped, while also being discussed through an arranged workshop with all important stakeholders. During two weeks aspects of disaster preparedness of coastal guards, fire departments, police, ambulance, hospitals, forest services, agriculture, etc.

Handpump Spar Parts Supply Chain Analysis in Eastern Congo – Consultancy for UNICEF 2014

Through cooperation between Fontes Foundation, Yme Grands Lacs and A-Aqua, I was leading the study to explore the existence and impact of spare parts supply chain in Eastern Congo as an indicator for the sustainability of rural and semi-urban water supplies. Substantial field work resulted into concrete conclusions which would have to influence any future development of handpump schemes. Purchase routines of large international actors undermine any potential for local supply chain establishments. In addition it was possible to show that a critical number of similar type of handpumps within a given area spontaneously let private initiatives to establish supply chains.

WASH disaster equipment to UN, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and NGOs

As managing Director of A-Aqua AS, Norway, with my team I was developing the market and delivering solutions for all aspects of water and sanitation in disaster response operations. We also developed new solutions for handling waste water from field hospitals. Field experience with hospitals both in Banda Aceh (2004-2005) and Petit Goave (Haiti, 2010) pushed for developing more suitable solutions for toilets and showers. Through own consultancy company, Fontes AS, a proper solution was developed with vacuum toilets, sold to both NorCross and CanCross, and later handled through A-Aqua AS.

Lecturing as Guest Professor at St. Gallen Management University – since 2011

Based on the experience from many disaster response operations as delegate for the Red Cross Movement and the UN, as well as for other NGOs, I started to compile the learning with specific respect to leadership issues into a lecture called “Leadership in Disaster Management”. Similar learning from many development aid projects resulted into a lecture about “Practical Leadership in Development Aid Programs”. Both course are taught every year with about 30 students. In addition, through a cooperation between St. Gallen and the Fletcher School (Tuft University, Boston), I am responsible for the annual GLOBE 8-days seminar with master students in Talloires (south of Geneva) on Leadership in Humanitarian Crisis. All courses use a lot of interactive group work and various learning techniques to enable access to the practical challenges within these areas leadership, management and personal mastery.

IFRC Field School in Nepal (2011) and ERU Trainings in Norway

Training of delegates has always been a challenge mainly in providing them with the right approaches and tools for acting in real situation later on. One of approaches chosen by IFRC and pushed by NorCross was the Field School Concept. I was deputy team leader on the Field Schools carried out in Nepal in November 2011. The experience and learning potential of the delegates was a great success, at least what the delegates reported. The “real” situation of southern Nepal provided a very good background and the constructive cooperation with the National Society gave the “right” working environment. Similar to this, I was also team leader and deputy team leader for other ERU-trainings in Norway under the NorCross. In addition, I was during the last years involved in the trainings for team leaders, while I also produced a field manual for field hospital delegates.

Team Leader for NorCross/IFRC Field Hospital in Petit Goave (Haiti) in 2010

As a team leader for the Filed Hospital in Petit Goave over a period of 6 weeks, I really experience the challenges of all aspects of a disaster response operation. This included the coordination with IFRC, the own National Society and the Haiti Red Cross Society. In addition and mainly in focus, direct contacts with the hospital leader team and the Ministry of Health took a lot of work and energy. Also the delegates of medical and technical staff challenged the whole operation, however, in total we managed to provide services and many benefits to the local population. Through a careful cooperation with the Spanish Military we managed to improve the facilities and enlarged space for patients. During a mass casualty situation during one night, we all could see that the team, the cooperation and all support functions have properly worked.

Disaster management, Disaster Preparedness, Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, since 2004

In the context of Red Cross/Red Crescent cooperation and projects, having worked on concepts, publications, guidelines to increase focus, awareness and practical implementation of issues related to disaster management in the widest range. Contributed to evaluations, comments to white papers, formulations of internal approaches. Having been highly active in pushing these concepts in informal and formal working groups. Having participated in international conferences as member of official delegation of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Having been consultant for the MFA on these issues. Being selected by UNDAC to work on a disaster preparedness plan for Uganda. Having been active for UNDAC in environmental disaster risk analysis.

Training of delegates in disaster management and water and sanitation, teaching and supervision, since 1981

Integration of water and sanitation issues into the overall aspects of disaster management, disaster preparedness and, recently, into the practical approaches of climate change adaptation, made me to an often invited speaker at conferences, contributors to publications, teacher at university courses and supervisor of master and PhD programs. Recently having held courses at University for Biology and Environment (Ås, Norway), University of Neuchatel (Switzerland), Technical University Tampere (Finland). During my position in the Norwegian Red Cross having arranged and taught courses for Norwegian delegates, for the Kenya Red Cross Society, for Austrian Red Cross, for German Red cross, for Norwegian Church Aid and for Yme. Of special interest could be the assessment to the Western Sahara area for UNHCR, the assessment and implementation of larger-scale water supply systems in southern Iraq, the drilling campaign for UNICEF in Kenya.

Katunguru, Queen Elisabeth National Park, Uganda: Rural water supply in village installed during two days, February 3 and 4, 2004.

Initiated project and delivered water supply system to rural village. Installed during two days together with the population. Arriving with equipment and working together was an immense motivation for the population to cooperate and to work. This is part of Yme’s new strategy to bring water and sanitation faster to the people. The concept bases on the affordability of the population to pay for their services. Close cooperation with authorities at different levels is the key. My role was the initiator of the concept, the organizer and the implementer. Logistic support and political contacts were enabled through the Uganda Wild Life Authorities.

Goma (DRC), Assessment and Implementation of Water Supply to People form Esco-camp after Volcanic  Eruption in January 2002.

Yme decided to focus on rehabilitation work after the volcanic eruption in January 2002, and decided to do an assessment in March the same year. This resulted in a water supply project for displaced people staying for over one year in the Esco-camp and later moved to a new settlement site of Mugunga, some 12 km to the west of Goma. Implementation of the temporary supply system with pumping water from Lake Kivu took about three days. After this, the supply system is still under the “sustainabilization phase” with the construction of a pump house, increasing the pipeline, enlarging storage capacity, installation of larger pump, etc.. I was the initiator of this project as well as the responsible project coordinator and practical implementer of the more difficult parts.

Manual in Water & Sanitation Implementation in Emergencies (for NCA 1996-2000), Manual for Water Management and Water Treatment (Plastec 2002-2003), Manual for Norwegian Red Cross on Disaster Management (2010)

For the specific tasks in emergency response, I prepared and wrote manuals to make the most necessary information easily available. Both manuals cover more then the technical aspects of water treatment, they also cover different aspects of water management, hygiene and health issues, as well as sanitation. The manuals are focused on the field use in emergencies. The manuals have been continuously updated during several field missions. Although they are not comprehensive in all engineering tasks for water and  sanitation constructions in emergencies, they help to calculate an define the necessary equipment needed to supply a given population within very short time. In addition, some excel-spreadsheets were developed to easily calculate water distribution, cost for treatment etc.

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