India is a multi-hazard prone country, be it natural or anthropogenic. According to NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority), 80% of India’s geographical area is vulnerable to disasters of different kinds. The intensity and frequency of disasters over the years are increasing resulting in larger number of people losing their lives, livelihoods, property and people becoming homeless, orphaned. Foundation for Development Action works with vulnerable communities to build resilience, foster adaptability, respond to and manage disaster risks effectively at local level by enhancing community and institutional capacities.
FDA implemented Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) programme at Munroethuruthu in Kollam and Peringara in Pathanamthitta districts under ‘GoI-UNDP Project on Enhancing Institutional and Community Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change 2013-17’, with support from Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA).
FDA conducted consultation meetings with people’s representatives and officials of Grampanchayat, Revenue and Disaster Management department and other key persons in the villages to share objectives and end results of the intervention. Vulnerable areas of the Grampanchayat were made into zones and community level awareness and sensitization meetings were organised, Village Disaster Management Committees (VDMC) and Emergency Response Teams (ETR’s) namely; Search and Rescue; First Aid and Shelter Management were formed and specialised hand-on trainings were imparted to village volunteers in their respective domains.
Mapping exercises using Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) tools were adopted to prepare Resource Map, Hazard Map and Evacuation Map with people’s participation. Participatory Capacity Vulnerability Assessment was conducted in the Grampanchayat to understand in detail and depth of hazards and vulnerabilities that exists in the village and what capacities are needed to minimize risks. As part of the intervention, Village Disaster Management Plans were prepared and has been submitted to District Disaster Management Authorities of Kollam and Pathanamthitta for approval.
The devastating earthquake which hit the Himalayan nation of Nepal on 25th April 2015, caused heavy casualties by killing more than 8,659 people and injuring 21,952 plus people. This disaster triggered Save Our Soul (SOS) International to think and initiate Disaster Risk Reduction programmes in all SOS villages with the objective to ensure safety and security of children living in moderate and high-risk earthquake zones. FDA provided technical assistance to SOS Children’s Village, Thrissur in developing their Campus Disaster Management Plan in a participatory manner. Children, mothers and staffs were trained in earthquake risk mitigation and fire hazards. Children were formed into various groups and were trained to conduct ‘Hazard Hunt’ for identifying factors of hazards and vulnerabilities of their campus. Resource / Social Map; Hazard Map and Evacuation Map were prepared by children themselves by using Participatory Learning Action tool.
Children spent most of their time in school, pursuing education, interacting with teachers, playing with peer group and hence school should be a safe place for the children at the same time schools are also exposed to a number of risks. FDA has taken concrete steps to build capacities of schools to manage and cope with hazards which are of prime importance. School safety is therefore an approach and method to ensure resilience towards creating a safer environment for children to learn and prosper in all it’s potential.
In April 2018, Foundation for Development Action started working with Saraswathi Vidyalaya – a CBSE affiliated school at Thiruvananthapuram having 3334 students, 129 teachers and 156 non-teaching staffs. A comprehensive School Safety Programme was implemented by following School Safety Guidelines of National Disaster Management Authority, GoI. A number of capacity building programmes like; training on Safe Driving Practices for school bus drivers & helpers; training on Rescue & Basic Fire Fighting Techniques and Basic Life Support for teachers, school bus drivers & helpers, security staffs, Aaya (lady helpers) and students; training on Stress Management and Life Style Diseases for school bus drivers & helpers; participatory mapping and hazard hunt exercises involving students and teachers; awareness generation programme on school safety and basics of disaster risk reduction; mock drill on fire and school bus accidents and development of School Disaster Management Plan are notable highlights of the School Safety Programme.
Foundation for Development Action during October – December 2019 had implemented a school safety programme in 28 schools (Pan Kerala) which was a joint programme of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA). The project was implemented in association with the General Education Department, Govt of Kerala and supported by Kerala Fire & Rescue Services and Indian Institute of Emergency Medical Services for imparting capacity building training programmes. Highlights of the project include formation and capacity building of School Disaster Management Committee; formation of School Emergency Response Team (S-ERT) for Basic Life Support and training to its members and students; participatory Resource-Hazard and Evacuation map preparation, hazard hunt exercise, fire mock drill, development of module for BLS training and School Disaster Management Plan in vernacular.
@ Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved - www.fdaction.org