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Disaster Mitigation
in Asia

28 Feb 2010
Issue No. 77

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).

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES for February to March 2010:

  • BANGLADESH – The PROMISE BD team visited Jamalpur Municipality to conduct the flood vulnerability analysis from 23 to 25 February for wards 1, 10 and 12 (the selected wards for PROMISE activities). Twenty selected volunteers were trained on CBDRR, and they joined their ward councilors and the PROMISE BD team to lead their communities in participatory risk mapping (mapping elements included flood hazard exposure, vulnerability, and community resources.) The PROMISE BD team also discussed climate change issues with the community to obtain their perception on rainfall, flood patterns, migration, and their livelihood in the last five years. The community risk maps were presented for validation at the monthly meeting of the Jamalpur Technical Working Group (TWG) for PROMISE on February 25. Other items discussed during the meeting the proposed community-based flood early warning system and emergency preparedness plans. Next month’s activities include finalizing the Community-Based Flood Early Warning System, installation of flood gauges, the preparation of action plans, and the organization of a validation workshop.

  • PHILIPPINES – PROMISE RP held a Training of Trainers in community based disaster risk reduction and management from February 15 to 17. The 52 participants came from different departments of Pasig City Government. Resource persons included Mayfourth Luneta of the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP), Nina Relox of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), AND Lynn Melosantos of the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS). The training included practicum for delivering training sessions, planning workshops for implementing PROMISE in eight pilot barangays, and development of public awareness campaign ideas. Japanese university professors from the social work faculty observed the CBDRRM ToT. The second activity for the month was PROMISE RP’s participation to the 8th meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee (RCC); details of the meeting are in the section “From the Region.” PROMISE RP hosted RCC-8 delegates who visited Pasig City Hall on Feb. 24 and 26. The purpose of the visit was a briefing on Pasig City’s emergency preparedness programs, and current work on flood disaster mitigation under PROMISE. PROMISE RP team members present at the meeting included Ritchie Angeles, head of Pasig Rescue, and Mayfourth Luneta, PROMISE project coordinator. The delegation on the 24th were representatives from East Timor and Sri Lanka, while the delegation on the 26th included Dr. Bhichit Rattakul, Executive Director of ADPC and former Bangkok governor; Prof. Krasae Chanawongse, a Ramon Magsaysay Award recipient for community service; Aloysius Rego, ADPC Deputy Director; and NMSI Arambepola, ADPC Director for Urban Disaster Risk Management. The work for next month will focus on the conduct of community workshops to develop participatory risk assessments and action plans.

  • SRI LANKA – This month, the project consultant for PROMISE SL consolidated and analyzed the community hazard maps and flood hazard history, and developed a draft City Hazard Map and a draft Action Plan for Matara. The map and action plan will be presented to stakeholders at a consultation workshop scheduled for March 2 to present The invited participants of the workshop will come from among Matara city officials, Grama Niladaris, Ward-based community leaders, the District and Divisional Secretaries, and the officials of the DMC. They will review the hazard map and action plan, suggest revisions for the action plan, and set the priority activities for implementation.

 A. From the Region

(1) Asian disaster management heads meet in Manila on CBDRRM
The 8th meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee on Disaster Management (RCC-8) was held from the 22-24th February 2010 in Manila, Philippines, inaugurated by the Hon. Norberto B. Gonzales Secretary, Department of National Defense and Chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, of the Government of the Philippines. The RCC is composed of heads of national disaster management systems of Asian countries. The RCC meeting in Pasig on Feb. 22 to 24 is part of the regional consultative mechanism for the development of action strategies for disaster reduction in the region. The 22 officials representing 17 countries in the Asia and Pacific region, along with 14 observers from UN agencies, international organizations, NGOs, donor agencies and development banks, adopted the Manila RCC-8 statement on Implementing national programs on community-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) in high risk communities. Read the statement at:
http://www.adpc.net/v2007/Downloads/2010/Mar/Meeting%20Document%2042%20Manila%20RCC%208%20Statement_4March10.pdf
.

(2) Avalanches and floods in Afghanistan
(based on a report from IRIN)
Avalanches and floods have also killed a number of people, destroyed houses and blocked roads in different parts of the country this February. Over 40 people have died, more than 50 injured, and hundreds required evacuation. The Afghanistan National Disasters Management Authority (ANDMA) had responded with food drops and air evacuations to avalanche sites. In addition, The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) had deemed over 128 districts as vulnerable to flu, pneumonia and other cold weather-related diseases; it is monitoring the spread of the diseases and vaccinating vulnerable individuals.  

(3) Two new UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices in Pakistan and Ukraine
The United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN SPIDER) reports that they have two new members in the network of Regional Support Offices (RSO) supporting the work of the UN-SPIDER Programme. The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) of Pakistan, and the Space Research Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the National Space Agency of Ukraine (SRI NASU-NSAU). Representatives of both institutions signed cooperation agreements with UNOOSA during the forty-seventh session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) on 10 January 2010.

B. Calls for Submission

(4) Call for nominations: NUWA 2010
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India (GoI) invites nominations for the National Urban Water Awards 2010. The awards are open to 1) Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), 2) Water Boards/ Utilities, and 3) Private Sector, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Bilateral and Multilateral Agencies, in collaboration with ULBs/Water Boards Utilities. 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 deadline for nominations is April 30.  For inquiries, contact Prof. V. Srinivas Chary, schary@asci.org.in.  Get more information here:
http://waterawards.in/articles-news/2010-announcement.php

(5) Call for entries: The World Bank Essay Competition 2010
The World Bank Essay Competition 2010 invites youths to share ideas on: How can you tackle youth unemployment through youth-led solutions? Contestants must answer both questions:  1. How does youth unemployment affect you, your country, town or local community?  2. What can you do, working together with your peers, to find a sustainable solution for job seekers through youth entrepreneurship?  The International Essay Competition is open to all young people, students and non-students alike, at least 18 and not older than 25 on May 15, 2010, from all countries of the world.  For more information, go to:
http://www.essaycompetition.org/contentm10_1_1.

C. Conferences and Courses

(6) Regional Conference on Climate Change and Extreme Cyclones
Co-organizers: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Center.  The conference held in Dhaka on February 17 and 18 brought together climate scientists and academic researchers with disaster management experts and professionals, to delve into the current and projected trends, and discuss how future risks can be best managed.

(7) Pre-Disaster Natural Hazard Loss Estimation session at the ADCP RCC meeting
Organizer: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). ADPC arranged a special session on “Pre-Disaster Natural Hazard Loss Estimation” during the annual meeting of its Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) in Manila. The intention was to brief RCC representatives of project countries under Theme 5 on the initiative, discuss a proposed regional training course on the subject, and obtain inputs on the methodology presented. 

(8) 5th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands – Paris, France: 3-7 May 2010
Organizer: United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  This conference addresses the ability of coastal and island communities to respond to climate change through the use of adaptation, mitigation, financing, and technology. Innovative private-sector solutions and improving governance will be discussed at the conference.  This conference is open for all sectors of the global oceans community – governments, international agencies, nongovernmental organizations, industry, and scientific groups – to address the major policy issues affecting the oceans at global, regional, and national levels and to make progress in advancing the global oceans agenda.  For more information, go to:
http://www.globaloceans.org/.

(9) 9th Regional Training Course on Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction for Cities – Bangkok, Thailand: 10–21 May 2010

Organizer: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).  The course is designed to impart greater understanding of the causes and effects of earthquake and collateral hazards, primarily focusing on mitigating such impacts in order to reduce damage and loss of lives with sustained development.  The designed course is a blend of principles, concepts, case studies, and hands-on experience of seismic risk reduction strategies.  Please contact: Mr. Amit Kumar, tedadpc@adpc.net.  The brochure is available at the following link:
http://www.adpc.net/v2007/Downloads/2010/Mar/EVRC-9_Brochure%202010.pdf
.

D. Useful Resources

(10) Mainstreaming Climate Change in ADB Operations: Climate Change Implementation Plan for the Pacific (2009-2015): ADB, 2010
http://mms.adb.org/e-Notification/url.asp?ID=18714&DOCID=19741.

(11) RCC Working Paper Version 2: Implementing National Programs on Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction in High Risk Communities - Lessons Learned, Challenges, and Way Ahead
http://www.adpc.net/v2007/Downloads/2010/Feb/RCC%20Working%20Paper%20Version%202.pdf.

(12) This month in Asia’s disaster history
The earthquake that occurred off the coast of Chile on February 27 at a magnitude of 8.8 had generated a tsunami with amplitude of up to 2.6 m at Valparaíso, Chile. This event reminds us of the seismicity of the “Pacific Ring of Fire” that extends around the ocean. Another part of this ring is the Kamchatka Peninsula, the site of an earthquake of magnitude 8.3 on February 3, 1923 that had generated an 8 m tsunami. The tsunami caused several deaths and damage in Kamchatka, and propagated all over the Northern Pacific, reaching Hawaii with waves of up to 6.1 m. Read more about it at:

 

 
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