Build resilience of vulnerable communities on this National Disaster Risk Reduction day

Build resilience of vulnerable communities on this National Disaster Risk Reduction day

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Today is National #DRRDay. Find out how @OxfamIndia is helping vulnerable communities get disaster resilient. http://bit.ly/1NaQ7cw

For every Rs100 spent on #DRR, Rs500 is saved in future disaster response funding. Know more. http://bit.ly/1NaQ7cw

In India, National Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Day is observed on October 29. It is a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of DRR. 

It's also a day to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities. 

Every year, DRR Day celebrations bring to spotlight issues and themes related to disasters and vulnerabilities. This year, the focus is on use of local, traditional and indigenous knowledge.   

 Did you know?

South Asia is home to 1.4 billion people (23% of world population), geographically located in areas prone to different natural hazards (floods, cyclones, droughts and earthquakes). Among them, floods are most common. India is one of the most disaster prone countries, both in terms of frequency and intensity of floods.  

Devastating floods in India not only cause an immediate loss of human lives and property worth crores of rupees but also put the nation's economic output at risk. In 2014, floods in four states of India cost the country over Rs 18,612 crores.

Investment in disaster risk reduction is also highly efficient: for every Rs 100 spent on DRR, Rs 500 is saved in future disaster response funding!

What is Oxfam doing?

Oxfam’s DRR work in India enables vulnerable communities to experience much less severe impacts, or ‘bounce back’ quicker from disasters such as annual floods & cyclones.  

Our aim is not just to build the coping capacity of vulnerable populations, but also resilient and climate adaptive communities, who are able to anticipate, minimise and absorb potential stresses. 

Oxfam India provides support to 16 local partner NGOs - who are usually the first responders in an emergency, being closest to the location of disasters and communities.

Work on the ground
In Assam

Communities are taking steps to maintain raised hand pumps in some of the most perennially flood prone locations. 

Across districts such as Morigaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, community action on risk reduction is helping communities to minimize outbreak of diseases during floods and at the same-time ensure access to safe water during a crisis.  

 

One of the raised hand-pumps that ensured access to safe water in one of the villages in Darrang, Assam that worked on disaster preparedness and risk reduction.

In Odisha

Alok Kumar Nayak, 15, a resident of Gorachandra village, Balasore in Odisha is a student who is helping others to understand the importance of disaster preparedness.  

With the support of his teachers at school and the local government, the Alok successfully campaigned to have a road built from his school to the main road as part of the school’s emergency contingency plan; initiated by Oxfam and its partner Unnayan. 

Alok feels very proud of this achievement and was unaware of these issues until Oxfam provided lessons and workshops on contingency and preparedness planning, hygiene promotion and first aid.

Spurred on by this, a school emergency task force team was created that Alok is now part of, and his specific role is in first aid.

He comments on the raised latrines in the court yard, saying that they were a great idea as when the flood waters were high they could still get clean water without fear of contamination.  These were issues that he knew very little of in the past but now has an interest in them.  

 

But Alok admits that his favourite area is contingency planning, helping to create the school safety plan, emphasising its importance of preparedness in minimising loss of property and of life.

 

 

Written by: Oxfam India staff

Photo credit: Oxfam India

 


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