Reducing disaster risks of the poor

30 Jul 2007

Colombo, July 30, 2007–  'Involving affected communities and using their knowledge and capacities to reduce disaster risks in disaster prone areas is crucial in community based disaster management,' emphasized the speakers at a two day regional workshop and discussion on Community Based Disaster Management Programme (CBDMP) held on Monday. 

The workshop aims to share current local practices and learn from regional experiences on Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM) programmes. This workshop also aims to initiate an appropriate community based disaster management modality for disaster management development activities at the community level.

Participants from Pakistan, India, Maldives, Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand and  Sri Lanka participated along with representatives from the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), UNDP's Regional Crisis Prevention and Recovery office in Bangkok, Disaster Management Centre, IFRC, Care International, FAO, OXFAM, Green Movement, Practical Action, Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights of Sri Lanka and other leading NGOs and INGOs.

The United Nations' Resident Coordinator in Colombo,  Neil Buhne addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony of the workshop on Monday said that disaster management will be a high priority item on his agenda.

The Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights P.Dias Amarasinghe emphasized the need for disaster management activities to be rights based and to be led by the people for the people.

Man Thapa, the Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor for UNDP/DMC explained that this workshop aims to develop a common CBDM guideline and modality for Sri Lanka and a CBDM training manual.

This workshop will also serve as a platform to share existing CBDMP activities initiated by different disaster/ development actors in the country,  discuss and validate guidelines for developing training modules that develop skills,  and to come to a consensus on appropriate CBDMP approach for large scale CBDMP activity in the country.

The workshop was organised by the DMC in collaboration with UNDP, Practical Action and AIDMI.

Tsunami Recovery efforts in Sri Lanka under the Disaster Management Centre has initiated many projects for risk reduction and sustainable development. In addition to national level interventions, DMC plans to focus on similar initiatives at the community level, particularly through the women in most vulnerable areas of the country to design, implement, monitor and replicate these disaster management activities.