Assessment of Search and Rescue Capacity for Emergency Response ADPC: Assessment of Search and Rescue Capacity for Emergency Response

Published on: 01/16/2008

Language: English

Author(s): Asian Disaster Preparedness Center

Department: Disaster Risk Management System

Type: Progress and Assessment Reports

File size: 0.72 MB


Publication Overview/Description

The Mekong River Basin is home to approximately 60 million people and is second to
the Amazon River Basin in terms of its rich plant and animal diversity. The majority of
the Mekong Basin’s inhabitants are poor fishers and farmers, who rely on the annual
floods to provide favorable conditions for rice growth and productive fisheries. The
flood season spans between June and November and although local populations have
learnt to adapt and live with floods, the immediate tasks of the provincial and district
authorities are still to ensure people’s safety and protection of property and livelihoods.

Most of the socio-economic activities in the Mekong Delta, from transportation of
supplies to harvesting of crops, require use of the Mekong River’s complex network of
waterways and tributaries. The challenge for the provincial authorities during the flood
season is to maintain daily activities and use of the river for inhabitants, whilst
ensuring continued safety in higher and more hazardous water levels. In order to meet
this challenge the authorities need to adequately prepare search and rescue forces to
respond to possible incidents and mobilize the necessary equipment, personnel and
funds to support this. Many drowning cases in the recent past have been children who
cannot swim and have been left unattended while parents are forced to go in search of
work further a field, due to the floods. One of the roles played by the Provincial Red
Cross in disaster preparedness activity includes assisting the PCFSC and DCFSC to
create a pool of trained search and rescue volunteers to address this issue.

Under Component 4 of the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) Flood Management
and Mitigation Program (FMMP), the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre is working
together with funding support from GTZ on the project ‘Flood Emergency
Management Strengthening’ (FEMS), implemented in two districts of An Giang and
Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Under this project the capacities of provincial and
district authorities as well as local disaster management authorities, are being
strengthened to implement their annual provincial and district Flood and Storm
Control Plans. Smaller sub-projects have been carried out to increase community
resilience to flooding and enable people to better prepare for and cope with floods.
These priority sub- projects have been targeted at reducing the risks of the most
vulnerable and have included a Swimming Universalization program for school
children, establishment of Emergency Kindergartens and provision of Search and
Rescue training.