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31 August 2010
Issue No. 83

The Program for Hydro-meteorological Disaster Mitigation in Secondary Cities in Asia (PROMISE), funded by USAID/OFDA, commenced from October 2005.  The objective of the program is to contribute towards reduction of vulnerability of urban communities through enhanced preparedness and mitigation of hydro-meteorological disasters in South and Southeast Asia.  Components of the program consist of capacity building in hydro-meteorological disaster risk reduction, risk management advocacy, networking and dissemination initiatives, and city demonstration projects in selected countries.  Six cities highly vulnerable to hydro-meteorological disasters were selected for implementing demonstration projects on disaster mitigation by urban communities from 2006 to 2009 – Chittagong (Bangladesh), Hyderabad (Pakistan), Jakarta (Indonesia), Dagupan (Philippines), Kalutara (Sri Lanka), and Da Nang (Viet Nam). The program is now being implemented in Jamalpur (Bangladesh), Pasig (the Philippines), and Matara (Sri Lanka).

In this Issue:

  • Program Updates for August 2010

  • From the Region

  • Calls for Submission

  • Conferences and Courses

  • Useful Resources

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES for August to September 2010:

  • BANGLADESH – Jamalpur Pouroshava’s Technical Working Group (TWG) on DRR formed under PROMISE BD met on August 16 to discuss the sustainability of the Emergency Operations Center and community-based early warning system (CBEWS).  The meeting came up with several suggestions that will be raised to the municipal council, including: training volunteers on the EOC operations; training groups of volunteer emergency responders; providing equipment and honoraria for volunteers responding during emergency events; quick response planning for evacuations; and tapping the local media to promote public awareness of the EOC and its evacuation procedures.  On August 17, the PROMISE BD team conducted training on the use of participatory monitoring and record keeping tools developed for 37 community CBEWS volunteers and the Jamalpur EOC volunteers.

  • PHILIPPINES – The PROMISE RP team organized a graduationceremony of the community members who attended the Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction Seminar from the eight pilot barangays of Pasig City.  More than 400 graduates gathered together on August 13 for the ceremonies wherein each community had a presentation to showcase their new expertise (DRR Mini Play, environmental songs, and a short musical on flood disaster preparedness).  Ms. Lorna Victoria, author on CBDM, was the guest speaker with Pasig City Mayor Robert Eusebio and Engr. Jun Paat representing the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. The participants expressed their commitment and received training certificates.  The event was also attended by Barangay Captains, CDP staff and directors, the Pasig City CBDRRM TWG, Pasig City staff and by City Councilor Ian Sia.

    Pasig City CBDRRM TWG held a series of Community Early Warning System Orientation meetings from August 16 to 19 in the eight PROMISE barangays in Pasig City.  The objective of the orientation was to improve on the Community Risk Assessment with disaster preparedness tools, and give a guide to making a Community Early Warning System.  The topics discussed included Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction Planning, Community-Based Contingency Planning, Community Early Warning Systems, and Evacuation Planning.  Each community will submit a CBDRRM plan, contingency plan for flood disasters, and a project proposal.  The communities will receive early warning flood markers and emergency equipment sets worth PhP 10,000 (around US$ 227) once the proposal is approved by the Pasig City CBDRRM TWG.  Mr. NMSI Arambepola, Director of ADPC for Urban Disaster Risk Management, observed some of the orientation meetings.

    PROMISE RP sponsored a DRR Orientation in the Education Sector for DRR coordinators/teachers of primary and secondary schools under the Pasig City Division of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS). The orientation on August 20 was facilitated by Ms. Luneta (PROMISE Project Coordinator) and Ms. Candy De Juan (DECS DRR point person).  The orientation topics included Overview of DRR in Schools, Child Centered DRR, the new law on disaster risk reduction (R.A. 10121) and Evacuation Center Management.  The discussions were intense among the 47 participants, and most disagreed with the use schools as evacuation shelters because of their experience during 2009 Typhoon Ketsana disaster when the evacuation was disorganized and school facilities damaged by survivors.  Ms. De Juan clarified that the DECS policy is to allow the use of schools as temporary evacuation shelters if there are none available in the school’s facility and the period of use will be short.  There was agreement on developing Memoranda of Agreement between each school and the local government on the terms of use of schools as temporary evacuation shelters.

  • SRI LANKA – PROMISE SL organized training on First Aid and emergency response for 30 residents of vulnerable communities within Matara City.  The training ran from August 2 to 5 at the Matara Municipal Council Fire Department, conducted by the St. John’s Ambulance group.  PROMISE SL organized a one-day training course on Hydro-meteorological Disaster Risk Reduction measures for school children.  Participants were 45 children from three major schools at Matara Municipal Area – Janadhipathi Vidyalaya, St. Servatius’ College and St Thomas College.  The training, held on August 4 at St. Servatius’ College, included lectures on monitoring of weather for prediction of disasters, response mechanisms at school level, and simulation exercises.  A two-day workshop was conducted on August 30 – 31 in Matara for city officers and elected members to enhance their participatory planning capacities focusing on land use plan recommendations proposed under this project.  A planning tool introduced under this project was extremely useful for the city administration in regulating development in  keeping with the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) objectives.  Two flood mitigation projects in Matara City were completed with community participation: dredging, widening and deepening of a 600-meter length of the canal at Welawatta Navimana Road; and canal dredging, deepening and lining of a 100-meter length of the Piladuwa Ganga Mawatha 1st cross canal.

A. From the Region

(1)    Rains and landslides in China
(based on reports from Xinhua and Alertnet)

Over 1500 people died in China this month in several rainfall and landslide events; most of the deaths happened in a single landslide event in northwest China's Gansu Province, Zouqu district, last August 9.  More than two hundred people are still missing from this event.  Heavy rains from August 11 to 12 hit Gansu province in western China resulted in the deaths of 36 people.  Gansu's neighboring province of Sichuan, floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains this week have killed at least 10 people and left another 57 missing.  More than 64,000 people evacuated their homes in Dandong City on August 21 due to flooding by the swollen Yalu River in Liaoning Province on the northeast border with DPR Korea.  The flooding was the result of three days of torrential rains, with precipitation in the basin ranging from 200 mm to 400 mm.  The Three Gorges Dam was also monitored closely as the year's second largest flood crested and safely passed the dam on the Yangtze River.  Water flowing into the reservoir of the dam reached 56,000 m3/s on August 24, the highest since the flood earlier peaked at 70,000 m3/s on July 20.

So far, floods and landslides have left 3,185 people dead and more than 1,060 missing in China this year, according to China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, and about 230 million Chinese had been affected.  Nearly 15.2 million people had been evacuated and 16.5 million hectares of crops had been affected.  Direct economic losses stood at more than 51.4 billion U.S. dollars.

(2) Pakistan flood in numbers
(taken from reports from IRIN, Alertnet and Reuters)

The floods in Pakistan is the country's worst in 80 years according the Pakistan government, and world's second worst in the decade from 2001 to 2010 according to the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) in terms of number of fatalities.  The numbers have been grim: more than 2,000 people killed, up to 20 million affected, an estimated 8 million people need urgent assistance, around 800,000 were stranded, more than 4 million are homeless, more than 3.2 million hectares of standing crops ruined, at least 200,000 livestock killed, some 7,820 schools are fully or partially damaged, about 5,000 schools are being used as relief shelters and so 1.8 children’s formal education is disrupted.  The cost of rebuilding the country is estimated to be around US$10 to US$15 billion.

B. Calls for Submission

(3) Extended call for nominations: NUWA 2010
The Ministry of Urban Development of the Government of India invites nominations for the National Urban Water Awards 2010. The awards are open to 1) Urban Local Bodies, 2) Water Boards/ Utilities, and 3) collaborating Private Sector, Non-Government Organizations, Community-Based Organizations, and Bilateral and Multilateral Agencies. Nominations are invited under six categories, i.e. (i) Technical Innovation (ii) Financial Reform (iii) Services to the Poor (iv) Citizen Services and Governance (v) Public-Private Partnerships and (vi) Urban Sanitation. All the eligible organizations can submit multiple entries in different categories. The new deadline for nominations is September 11. For inquiries, contact Prof. V. Srinivas Chary, Get more information here:

(4) Call for Participation: 3rd South South International Citizenry Based Development Academy
The primary aim of the South-South Citizenry- Based Development Academy is to provide capacity development support to citizenry based development oriented disaster risk reduction initiatives in the Asia and Pacific region, as well as inter regionally.  The theme for this academy is "Harmonization of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Local and Community Level: Building Resilience of Communities in the Bicol Region".  The sub-themes include: Gender, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation; Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation and Livelihood and Food; Security; Children and Youth Participation in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change;  Adaptation;  Partnerships Supported at the Provincial Level; and Partnerships Supported at the Municipal Level.  This year’s academy will be held on 22-26 November 2010 at the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), Pili, Camarines Sur, Philippines.  For the brochure and enquiries, please contact: 1) for Philippine-based participation: Dr. Cely Binoya, CBSUA,, Malu Cagay, Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP),, or Lorna Victoria, CDP,; 2) for International participation :  Zenaida Delica-Willison, UNDP,

C. Conferences and Courses

(5) Call for participation: Certification Program in Urban Management India:2010 – Hyderabad, India: 13–24 September 2010
The Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) in partnership with the World Bank Institute (WBI), Washington is conducting a training program on Certification Program in Urban Management during September 13–24, 2010, targeting senior urban development policy makers especially Commissioners and other senior officials of cities. The Program is supported by the Water and Sanitation Program-South Asia and is endorsed by Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. ASCI-WBI Certification Program in Urban Management India: 2010 is designed specifically to support the capacity building in Indian cities.  The brochure can be downloaded from: Brochure:

(6) Call for registration: E-course on Multi Hazard Risk Assessment
Organizer: CEPT University. This is a 6-month refresher course for aspiring Asian professionals in disaster management, hazard and vulnerability assessment. It aims to make the target group aware of various tools and techniques in risk assessment for an array of hazards. Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing will be touched in the course, prior knowledge is an advantage but not compulsory.  Deadline for registration is end September. For more information check the link:

(7) Asia-Oceania Resilience (AOR 2010) – Singapore, 5-6 October 2010
Organizer: International Association of Emergency Managers.  Asia-Oceania Resilience (AOR 2010) will bring together private and public sector professionals in security, emergency management, crisis management, business continuity management, risk management and disaster relief, focusing on Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Conference topics are on mitigation, preparation, response and recovery.  Visit the conference website:

(8) The 10th International Training Course on Flood Disaster Risk Management from 11-22 October 2010 in Bangkok, Thailand
Organizer: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).  FDRM course offers an integrated approach to the development of flood risk reduction strategies under the challenging circumstance of climate change, which enables a holistic view of flood situation and the needed prepared measures. It is specifically designed to meet the need of disaster management professionals, researchers, policy makers, planners, academicians, administrators and disaster management and career seekers.  For inquiries, please send email to:

(9) Call for Participation: World Disaster Reduction Campaign on Making Cities Resilient in Thailand – Bangkok, Thailand: 13 October 2010
To commemorate the 2010 International Day for Disaster Reduction, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center are launching the World Disaster Reduction Campaign on Making Cities Resilient in Thailand on Wednesday, at United Nations Conference Centre.  The campaign will highlight the good practice and successes of cities in Thailand.  Thai city governments are invited to sign up for the campaign, and the public is encouraged to nominate a city as a champion for urban resilience.  The launch will include an awarding ceremony for model cities of urban resilience.  For more information, contact Dr. Jerry Velasquez of ISDR Asia Pacific or Dr. Peeranan Towashiraporn

(10) The 6th Regional Training Course on GIS for Disaster Risk Assessment, Level-II from 1-12 November 2010 in Bangkok, Thailand
Organizer: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), and Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente.  GIS4DRA Level-II is an advance course attempts to provide knowledge and skills in multi-hazard risk assessment and loss estimation to the professionals with GIS and Remote Sensing (RS) background as well as in multi-criteria analysis for decision making. This course designed to the professionals who are interested in multi-hazard risk assessment using these tools and will be suitable for practitioners working in government organization, municipalities, NGOs, international organizations and academic institutions.  For inquiries, please send email to:

(11) Special Conference Session: 'Disaster Risk Management' – Hanoi, Vietnam, 2 November 2010
Session organizers: Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), and Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente.  A special session on 'Disaster Risk Management' at the 31st Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS) will take place on 2 November 2010.  The session will feature disaster-related topics.  For more details on the conference, go to:

D. Useful Resources

(12) Maldives: Political and Economic Update (Maldives), ADB 2010

(13) Geoinformation for Disaster and Risk Management - Best Practices and Examples, UNOOSA and JBGIS, July 2010

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