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Lesotho develops National Business Continuity Plan

A photo of the 36 participants in the training on business continuity management and development of business continuity plan for Lesotho and the draft development.
A photo of the 36 participants in the training on business continuity management and development of business continuity plan for Lesotho and the draft development.

Lesotho recently completed a training session on the development of a National business continuity plan for the country, which was followed by the development of a draft plan. Present at the training were the International Health Regulations Manager Mr Khotso Mahomo, Chief Executive Disaster Management Authority „Mé Mojaki, StratMan Consultants, Government Officials and Representatives from non-governmental organizations. Dr. Mufunda, WHO Representative, opened the training session, which took place over 3 days. The several days which followed were used to develop the plan for Lesotho based on the five main working groups of the Disaster Management Authority– health and nutrition; water and sanitation; food security; logistics; and training.

The exercise was supposed to have been undertaken in 2010 as the main deliverable for a small project financed under the Central Fund for Influenza Action (CFIA) of the United Nations. Due to, inter alia, scarcity of expertise in the business continuity concept, Lesotho was only able to undertake this exercise now, with support from StratMan Consultants. Dr. Mufunda explained that StratMan approach „in facilitating this process puts a lot of emphasis on you as the DMA Working Groups developing the plan rather than it being developed by StratMan. This will build the country capacity in the process and instil ownership to the product that will result from this exercise‟.

In the run up to this Lesotho received a grant from UNDP to support the development of a business continuity plan. A number of meetings took place between WHO and the Disaster Management Authority, the Ministry of Health, and the National epidemic response team to facilitate its development. A Simulation exercise was also organized by OCHA in Johannesburg.

The national business continuity plan for Lesotho takes into account the principles of the “whole-of-society” framework whereby Government, business and civil society would have plans to ensure that critical services continue to run when emergencies and/or disasters have struck, there is adequate preparedness for emergencies at all levels: local, district and national levels and all sectors appreciate the critical interdependence of the sectors during state of emergency especially during pandemic situations.

Dr Mufunda stressed that „the output from this exercise will only be fruitful to the country if it is implemented. One of the key determining factors for the implementation of the plan will be how well the Disaster Management Authority plays its stewardship and coordination role in the whole process‟.

Dr. Maama, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, gave the closing remarks for the debriefing session. She thanked the 36 participants and encouraged them to “Keep up the Khotsong Spirit” and resilience to the external pressures that may disrupt this very bold way forward to complete this exercise by end of February‟. A final plan is expected by the end of the month.

 Lesotho develops National Business Continuity Plan (1.8 MB)