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Disaster Mitigation
in Asia

31 January 2007 
Issue No. 31

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

The Program for Hydro-meteorological Disaster Mitigation in Secondary Cities in Asia (PROMISE), funded by USAID/OFDA, commenced from October 2005. Through consultations with a number of ADPC partners, five project countries have been selected – Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam – for implementing demonstration projects in each country in a highly vulnerable city with recent history of hydro-meteorological disasters. Other components of the program consist of capacity building, risk management advocacy, networking and dissemination initiatives in the selected countries. 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. The main focus from January to March 2007 are local-level skills training, planning for the conduct of national courses, and implementing the small-scale mitigation projects for each city.

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

BANGLADESH – BDPC conducted community-level planning workshops during the reporting period. The workshops were conducted with the participation of Ward Commissioners, members of the Ward Disaster Risk Mitigation Committees (WDRMCs), Change Agents (CAs), community elites, NGO personnel and people from vulnerable communities. The main objective of these workshops was to prepare community level action plan.  Community-level mock exercise events were organized with the participation of Change Agents/ Volunteers and member of the Ward Disaster Risk MitigationCommittee (WDRMC).  The IEC materials (flip chart, pocket calendar and annual calendar) have been designed and production will commence by the start of February.  The Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Assessment was completed for the select wards of Chittagong.  Based on the output of CRA and Baseline Survey, six community-based projects for improving community preparedness and reducing vulnerability were identified. This will serve as the guideline for undertaking activities in the implementation plan under Phase-2.

PAKISTAN – AKPBS(P) prepared the draft report on Hazard Mapping and Participatory Vulnerability Assessment. The report also highlights a set of broad recommendations to address the frequent problems of floods and sewage treatment cum disposal system. AKPBS(P) is currently updating and finalizing the hazard and vulnerability study.   Activity Workshops and community meetings were organised for developing proposals of small-scale mitigation projects.

PHILIPPINES – CDP and Dagupan City’s Technical Working Group (TWG) officially turned over in ceremonies certificates of appreciation and the equipment requirements of the community-based disaster mitigation plans of the eight barangays of the project.  The ceremonies were attended by city officials, barangay officials, barangay residents, communication specialist Kevin Donahue of USAID.  The event was covered by local media.  Next tasks and activities are on planning for the next phase of small-scale mitigation projects, and a seminar on use and maintenance of equipment.

The TWG and CDP ran a series of meeting for the finalization of contracts and mechanics of livelihood alternatives for socioeconomic mitigation.  Among the approved livelihood alternatives are buy-and-sell of recycled materials, a community drug store (botika sa barangay), rice retail store, and local transport (bicycle with side car).  The start of the projects was inaugurated in ceremonies on 24 January 2007 and covered by local media.  Calendars that featured the winning posters and slogans from the July 16, 2006 Disaster Preparedness celebration were distributed to each barangay.

SRI-LANKA – Sarvodaya organized awareness raising programs regarding disaster mitigation for school children and other community members as a continuation of the December National Safety Day activities.  Activities included a children’s painting competition on disaster awareness for different age groups.  Their partner the National Building Research Organization, has collected additional primary and secondary data for undertaking hydrological modelling of the study area. 

VIETNAM – CECI in collaboration with the People’s Committee of Cam Le district implemented the house construction programme in an effort to help the victims of Typhoon Xangsane. This activity is expected to be completed before Vietnamese New Year on 15 February 2007.  The house construction is funded by CIDA and the Canadian government for the Xangsane typhoon relief programmes.  The design of the houses is based on house construction models that resulted from the PROMISE-Viet Nam training and workshop on safer construction techniques held last month.  The engineer of Cam Le district also participated in the conduct of last month’s training of masons and builders, and in developing the cost estimates for the construction.  The main activity for next month is the preparations for CBDRM training at community level.

A. FROM THE REGION

(1) Indonesia landslide killed 24, 11 January 2007

(based on reports from BBC, Reuters, and YTBI)

After heavy rain, floods and landslides struck District of Sangihe Isle, Province of North Sulawesi, Thursday, 11 January 2007.  Twenty-four are reported dead and ten missing.  Efforts to bring aid to some 4,000 displaced people were hampered by heavy rains in the area, Tilla said.  Sangihe is 2,200 km (1,400 miles) northeast of Jakarta in the seas between North Sulawesi province and Mindanao, a southern island of the Philippines. 

(2) Sri Lanka holds National Safety Day, 26 December 2007

The first commemoration of Sri Lanka’s National Safety Day was held in Galle on December 26 last year.  The activities included two minutes of silence observed nationwide from 0925 to 0927 in remembrance of all disaster victims; awarding plaques for services of government officers; and messages from H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksha, Prime Minister Wicramanayake, and the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Samarasinghe.  The first multi-hazard early warning tower was inaugurated at Hikkaduwa, one of a planned 100-tower system to be operated by the ministry.

B. CALLS FOR SUBMISSION

(3) Call for Applications: WAS*IS (Weather and Society * Integrated Studies) 

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Societal Impacts Program (SIP) announces a call for applications for the 2007 Summer WAS*IS workshop. WAS*IS is a movement to fully integrate social science into meteorological research and practice by building an interdisciplinary community of practitioners, researchers, and stakeholders who want to learn and explore new tools, methods, and concepts for more effective socio-economic applications and evaluations of weather products. 

Applications are due Monday, March 26, 2007.  For more details, please contact Eve Gruntfest, ecg@uccs.edu, or Julie Demuth, jdemuth@ucar.edu.  
Visit http://www.sip.ucar.edu/wasis/summer07/index.jsp to read more about WAS*IS and to apply for the 2007 Summer WAS*IS workshop.

C.   CONFERENCES AND COURSES

(4) 4th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management - Delft, The Netherlands: May 13-16, 2007.

Organizer: International Community on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM).  The conference will tackle several critical issues, including: disaster management and internationalization, geographic information systems in crisis management, advanced information technologies for disaster management, and modeling and simulation of communication technology for disaster mitigation and recovery.
For more information, see:
http://www.iscram.org

D.  USEFUL RESOURCES

(5) Community Risk Assessment Resource - Provention Consortium 

Various community risk assessment methodologies and case studies are available from Provention website.  This website from ProVention provides approaches, methodologies, tools, and case studies used in Community
Risk Assessment activities. There are many relevant issues as well as specific tools applicable to participatory GIS processes.  The website can be found
here:
http://www.proventionconsortium.org/?pageid=43. 

(6) Risk assessment and planning resources – UCLA CPHD

The UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters (CPHD) has posted tools for disaster managements: the Hazard Risk Assessment Instrument (HRAI) to enable state and local public health agencies to conduct a risk assessment of their community, and a guidebook designed to assist state and local public health departments in developing a comprehensive, all-hazards disaster plan that includes the essential components necessary in the event of an emergency or disaster.  The CPHD was established in 1997 to address the critical issues faced when disaster impacts a community.  Links to the resources can be found on their
here:
http://www.cphd.ucla.edu/.

(7) "Hazards of Nature, Risks to Development” by IEG 

This report is the first-ever assessment of World Bank assistance for natural disasters, and a comprehensive review of disaster preparedness and response, and of the use of disaster forecasts.  The report can be found
here:
http://www.worldbank.org/ieg/naturaldisasters/docs/natural_
disasters_ev
aluation.pdf
.

 (8) "Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management" by the National Academies of Science 

This report examines the current use of geospatial data and tools in emergency management and makes recommendations to improve that use.  From the National Research Council of the National Academies, this book can be purchased in hard copy, or read free online here: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11793.html. 

(9) "Stop Disasters!" – a game from UN/ISDR

The UN/ISDR produced an online game to engage and teach children, ages 9 to16, how to protect cities and villages against natural hazards through disaster risk planning and management. The online game includes five natural hazard scenarios (flooding, tsunami, wildfire, hurricane, and earthquake) with different levels of difficulty that require critical decision-making and strategic planning. The game is found here: http://www.stopdisastersgame.org.

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