Youth involved in community-preparedness
“We were planning to launch a disaster risk reduction project but did not have anyone with the training”.
Mussarat, local aid worker
Aid agencies did all they could to help the communities of the Sindh survive in the difficult aftermath of the floods in 2010, 2011 and 2012, but knew that teaching people to cope when floods struck in future would be the most valuable gift they could give. However few of their staff were trained in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
In 2012 RedR delivered Disaster Risk Reduction courses to several Pakistani NGOs and local government departments. Mussarat and four of her colleagues from an NGO called Indus Resource Centre, based in Mirpur Khas district, Sindh province, are now able to work with whole villages to protect them against future floods. In practice this means that:
- Hazards have been identified and addressed. These include low-lying electricity cables or large holes that could be filled with water during a flood (as well as being a direct hazard these attract mosquitoes)
- Pre-emptive structural changes have been made. House flooring has been raised to a higher level, walls fortified using traditional tools people already own plans put in place to monitor canal water levels to ensure it remains an effective barrier against floods
- Links have been built with local and district authorities, identifying government and media resources and key regional points of contact, such as district fire departments and irrigation departments. These will reduce the vulnerability of the village and make a coordinated future effort of relief and recovery possible
The organisations that RedR has trained in Mirpur Khas district cover the whole region, population 15,000. Musarrat's NGO alone covers 23 villages, meaning thousands of people are better prepared for future disasters.
Village women learn about local disaster hazards
Aid worker working with local people
Musarrat, local aid worker