CADRE Planned for Paikepara Village – Bangladesh
Community disaster preparedness in Bangladesh has taken another step forward, with CADRE now planned to take place in the village of Paikepara.
About Paikepara – view slideshow>
Photos – PEER team visited the Paikepara Village for CADRE assessment (photo credit – Murad Billah, PEER Bangladesh Coordinator)
Paikepara is small community about four hours drive north of the capital Dhaka, in the Upazila of Sirajganj Sadar in Sirajganj District. It is typical of many villages in Bangladesh – low-lying, under-resourced, mainly subsistance and highly prone to flooding. Most of the people in this community work as farmers, fishermen and handloom workers. There are about 2,000 people in the community, with around 422 families.
In the rainy season this community becomes totally cut off by a tributary of the Jumuna river. At this time, people use small boats to get around, and for transport to other nearby ‘islands’ isolated by the inundation.
The socio-economic condition for people in the village is below average for Bangladesh, and the general condition of housing and infrastructure is very poor. There is a mixture of tin huts and bamboo dwellings, with paddy fields and small-holdings. There are no medical facilities and there is no local school. When the seasonal flooding happens, people often have to evacuate.
BDRCS in the Village:
The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) has worked for several years to develop the community of Paikepara. Two years ago, a BDRCS team conducted a Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (VCA) in association with the community, in which the community members were able to identify their needs.
BDRCS has assisted with constructing some tin-houses, and the construction of a community welfare office office. They have facilitated the set-up of a Community Disaster Management Center (CDMC).
The villagers also coordinate a disaster emergency fund – in which families contribute two taka a month, which is put into a central kitty to be used for some small emergency response requirements.
BDRCS have assisted with some community capacity building activities. They have worked to raise the plinth level of two existing tube wells so that they are above the last highest flood water level. This will help ensure that the community have safe drinking water during floods. In addition, 100 families were provided with four saplings of different fruit tree species for cultivation. Fruit-bearing trees will help to ensure nutrition for family as well as protect errosion and soil loss from the house-yard. In the long run this will also support the livelihoods of the families. Livelihood support has also come in the form of hybrid vegetable seeds such as; bottle gourd (kodu), sweet gourd (mistry kumra), bitter gourd (korrolla) and sponge gourd (Jhinja)
Empowerment of women is an essential part of developing the community resilience. Livelihood security is considered an important component of disaster risk reduction (DRR) here, since their ability to recover from frequent flooding is very crucial to their survival. As a part of strengthening DRR through livelihood security, ten women were given three-month-long sewing training. Four were also given Singer sewing machines. They were then able to earn money through sewing. Another livelihood-support project was the provision of 12 rickshaw/vans.
Community Disaster Response
BDRCS has shared the results of the VCA with the CDMC committee, which consists of 16 representatives. A Comunity Disaster Response Team (CDRT) has also been formed – consisting of 25 members. These community members have received some capacity-building training, such as developing risk maps of the village (pictured in the slideshow above) which helped in creating evacuation plans. The Disaster Emergency Response Fund is now 15000.00tk, and the community has been provided with 41 life-vests and a First Aid Box.
A Contingency Plan has been prepared by the community and will be updated annually. This is expected to assist quick response to disaster.
CADRE in Paikepara
Late October 2011 will see the first community training in Bangladesh for CADRE take place in the community. Around 24 community members will participate in CADRE training – which will combine the skills of simple search and rescue, with medical first response. The training will be led by members of the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) and the newly trained CADRE Instructors from the FSCD and the BDRCS, (trained at FSCD in CADRE from 18-30 Sept 2011), who will also facilitate as Assistant Instructors. Logistics and planning will be managed by the ADPC PEER Country Coordinator.