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UNHRD - Accra is Up and Running

In 2006, WFP Logistics embarked on the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) network project with the aim of replicating globally the Brindisi rapid response base. The UNHRD Network initiative supports WFP in meeting its corporate goal of being prepared to respond to four large scale emergencies at any given time as well as augmenting the emergency response efforts of UN, International, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations.

The establishment of the Ghana HRD in Accra was formalized in December 2006.  Operations commenced out of a 350 sq.m warehouse provided by TNT, a corporate partner of WFP.  Things were up and running, with the warehouse and office, while two additional prefabricated offices were erected in the forecourt to accommodate staff.

Initially, the depot started by stocking emergency items to cater to WFP emergency needs, such as, pre-fabricated office/accommodation units plus ancillaries, mobile warehousing, generators, high energy biscuits (HEBs) and field kits along with other items required to meet the needs of staff assigned to emergencies. It was not long before other users of the network showed interest in stocking items in Ghana, including WHO with medical items to stock.  This required converting a 40 ft. container to cater to the cold chain needs of stocking medicine and vaccines. 

With more and more items being delivered to the warehouse, there was soon a need to expand storage capacity so a Wiik-Hall (mobile storage units) was erected at the rear of the existing warehouse. In September 2008, a number of commitments made to users and the signing of technical agreements with new users required HRD Accra to acquire a plot of land next to the new warehouse and erect four additional Wiik-Halls  to accommodate the cargo requirements of these organisations.

In April 2009, HRD Accra started moving all its items from the TNT premises and plot of land to a portion of the new facility. There was a lot of work done to make the facility useable. such as the erection of four pre-fabricated offices inside one of the warehouses to accommodate staff, internal road works to accommodate the smooth flow of traffic in and out of the hub as well as various security measures to ensure the safety of items stored in the warehouse. 

Today, Accra is 100% operational as a Humanitarian Response Depot.  The new facilities are state of the art, with a total of 5,000 m2 covered storage space and an external storage area of 7,500 m2. The internal space of the warehouse is broken down into four warehouses, two of 2,000 m2 each for the storage of non-food items and two other warehouses of 500 m2 each which are climate controlled and are to be used for the storage of food items and medicine. There is also a cold storage chamber of 75 m2 for medicine and vaccines which are required to be stored at 2°C or below. Also included in the depot is a training facility which can cater to the needs of sixty participants. 

The team has undertaken some challenging dispatches in and around Ghana. They also recently dispatched some 116 MT of desperately needed items to Haiti,  which was the first time UNHRD dispatched items from Ghana to outside the African continent. Below is a breakdown of the tonnages and value of cargo dispatched out of UNHRD Ghana to date.

HRD

ACCRA

MT of Items

Dispatched

Value of Items

 Dipatched

2007

160.82

US$ 61,340

2008

178.52

US$ 775,703

2009

143.68

US$ 1,087,253

2010 (to date)

198

US$ 1,830,304

It should be noted that HRD Accrais currently in the process of sending items to both Niger, for the Sahel emergency, and Cote d’Ivoire.

For more information on UNHRD please visit the www.unhrd.org website where you can get information on the items stored at all the depots, as well as reports on HRD operations. 

 

Many thanks to Martin Walsh, Giuseppe Saba, Walid Ibrahim and the whole UNHRD Accra team!!