Dipecho3 newsletter2nd june08


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Dipecho3 newsletter2nd june08

  1. 1. A study by Bogazici University inTurkey after the earthquake concluded that, fifty Local Knowledge on addressing percent injury results from non-structural causes during an earthquake. These Disaster Preparedness injuries could be prevented by taking basic preparedness measures at household level – such as securing furniture and other heavy, tall objects likely to fall on people. If people can employ simple, preventive measures in future, the drain on limited medical resources in the developing countries and associated life and livelihood losses would be dramatically reduced [IFRCRCS, 52600 11/2003. January 2005]. Local knowledge facilitate DIPECHO ........... effective preparedness DIPECHO, put into operation by nine partners in Nepal, is essentially about "Chachaka" - Circular mud repository in Katarait VDC, Dhanusausa connecting concerned components within District of Nepal which has unique "pigeon holes" type design is related with Maithili tradition. This structure is not found in every house. the society to nurture partnerships. This Only elderly women of Maithili community have knowledge to build partnership is viewed to contribute to disaster this sort of structure. It requires about two weeks of work to make a "Chachaka". risk reduction by enhancing community preparedness, institutional responsiveness, These mud-made repositories provide an and legal protection of the affected people, alternative way of storing the materials. People and, through eliminating the adverse impacts use mud as wood is much more expensive of flood, land slide, river erosion and and less availability. This structure not only earthquake. In facilitation, the DIPECHO relates just as storage but it refers to a holistic projects have nurtured large number of people (Shreepur VDC, Sarlahi District knowledge embedded in local coping like poor women headed households, strategies, local warning systems, local "The river and the snake never go straight -" marginalized groups, ethnic minorities, youth a local proverb. weather forecasts, local practices on natural volunteers’ groups, business groups, local Local and indigenous knowledge also play resources management, local institutional government officials, civil society through vital role on mitigation of disaster and arrangements etc. activities like developing materials (with calamities. In many societies people recalls Small and valuable belongings can be kept people’s voices, assessment, priorities, needs the disaster happenings through story telling, songs, poems, proverbs, rituals and there safely from water and no reach of and much more), workshops etc. For children. Such local and indigenous ceremonies. These are the communication disseminating community based risk tools through which community express the knowledge on disaster preparedness is reduction concepts, DIPECHO partners in feelings. On such context - recording or understood here not only as technical Nepal have adopted an unexplored but documenting such community practices and knowledge but also as a combination of priceless approach of linking disaster knowledge could become effective tools institutional, socio-cultural, and environmental threatened people of multiple social spheres, and methods for the external actors to understand the causes and easy way to knowledge. In many cases, local knowledge contrary to conventional approaches seeking and practices have not been specifically only monetary and technical input oriented address and work together on disaster preparedness in affected communities. designed for disaster preparedness per se, but solutions. can contribute towards it.
  2. 2. Youth volunteers: Key to community mobilization and motivation for preparedness Bishnu Nepali, Volunteer, Nepal Red Cross Society Disaster Preparedness Unit, Shivnagar Bishnu Nepali, a 19 years old college girl is student of demography. She attends her college in the morning .Then in afternoon she works with the Community Disaster Preparedness unit of NRCS as a volunteer. She is now working as a community trainer for the The river primarily threatens the community forest where local program. people have relied upon for their livelihoods. It is valuable asset, Bishnu has actively participated in 11 days training as livestock fodder and fire wood is collected from here in a workshop on disaster preparedness which make her sustainable manner. On the above picture it can be seen that spurs have protected the river bank, but massive erosion took to get involve on such humanitarian worker. place where the bank is unprotected. As a volunteer Bishnu have been facing challenges while serving in community but she is taking this as opportunity to make community aware of disaster preparedness. "It is difficult to maintain community awareness and motivation to prepare for impending disasters, "she says "but as we start trainings and conduct regular meetings and discussion in the village to raise this awareness and motivation people are listening us. On recent flood occurred on last August, we collectively repaired the damaged draining tubes and constructed small check dams.” Bishnu has actively participated in 11 days training workshop on disaster preparedness which make her to get involve on such humanitarian worker. “We learned a lot on disasters and how to be prepared for them. First Aid training, rescue techniques and a survey of the environment to identify major risks and safe areas are some of the things that I learned during my training,” says Bishnu “as a NRCS volunteer; I am working in my own community. I realize that it is important to do something useful for my village. We live close to the river and we are in threat of flood. So there is urgency to implement infrastructural works to secure our livelihoods and community in the future. As Nepal is increasingly hard hit by natural disasters, on such scenario - there is realization of projects to strengthen community resilience are of the utmost importance. Community resilience is an example of how a group can be motivated and its resilience can be strengthened. It also replaces a fatalistic attitude towards disasters by an active anticipation and reduction of their impacts. Shivanagar DP unit office of Nepal Red Cross Society
  3. 3. Ensuring Water rights for the people under potential threat of earthquake in kathmandy valley preparedness, UNICEF has again system in Lalitpur. UNICEF with found momentum on water supply the help of DIPECHO and its 9 project in the Lalitpur area. About implementing partners have agreed 10 evacuation sites have been to provide some back up identified and endorsed by government authorities throughout As a result five strategic tube well the Lalitpur. The sites will have a sites have been selected for re- combined capacity to accommodate development and will include back over 57,000 people that would be up power supply, earthquake homeless in the event of an resistant buildings and structures, earthquake that is predicted to hit fuel storage capacity, new high the Kathmandu Valley. When these capacity pumps and water treatment destitute and vulnerable populations systems. Plans are also underway arrive at these sites, one of the first for a mass media campaign notifying needs is to ensure the availability of water. It has been predicted there people where they should go and Map3 – Final evacuation sites and deep tube well will be a total collapse of public what they can do as a family to locations to be developed to protect and safeguard life and prevent water borne disease outbreaks. water supply of the already prepare for an earthquake in overstressed and erratic water piping Kathmandu." - UNICEF, Feb 2007 Women in Andupatti VDC believe that they are more vulnerable than men to natural disasters. “We wear Sari, which makes us difficult to run and we are worried about our children how to make them safe.” Yet, until recently, the women of Andupatti VDC have not had the chance to address their gender specific vulnerabilities. They have not chances to participate in planning or training for disaster response. Like many women around the world, prevailing gender rules and norms have been denied them the both the right to access information and resources and the right to make Wisdom of the Women in strategic decisions that impact their lives and the lives of their families. contextualizing DP training to Women in Andupatti VDC live in an practice extremely conservative society, where they are often not allowed to speak to people outside their own family, let alone get involved in community Women in Andupatti VDC are proving themselves to make contribution decision making about disaster on community’s disaster preparedness. “We have two hands just like preparedness. Moreover, their capacity men and have capacity to address the problems as men do,” a female to contribute to their families’ and their disaster risk reduction committee member alleged, “we bet we can plant communities’ disaster preparedness is even more tree seedlings to prevent soil erosion than the men". ignored and left untapped. Þ
  4. 4. Andupatti VDC is extremely prone to flooding. The VDC is situated along the bank of the Jaladh River. Every year, the occurring of floods in this VDC has affected nearly 90 percent population of this village. Every year people of this VDC are experiencing the water level rising. When DIPECHO SAMADHAN held its first community training on disaster preparedness, women used to sit at the back and all were silent. But later, only two women had been willing to participate as members of the disaster risk reduction committee. They sat quietly during meetings. Realizing this as a serious concern, DIPECHO SAMADHAN staffs approached an elderly woman Because there is equal representation to participate in the actual plantation of this VDC and asked for her help. of women on the disaster risk of the tree seedlings, because, as one As a former health extension reduction committee, women will woman said, “We have two hands volunteer, she has influence in now also have a say in what small- just like men.” They have even community, particularly with other scale mitigation measures restarted savings and loans groups, women. They listen to her and show communities will design, implement which had become defunct several great respect to her. With moving and maintain. They will also play years ago. They intend to put the the time, with her help, more women an active role in finalizing money they save toward disaster gradually became actively engaged community contingency plans and preparedness. in the project. simulating community evacuation drills. Women in Andupatti asked for a Eventually, a tipping point was chance to prove that they can reached. Women have gained Women in Andupatti now move with contribute just as much or even momentum. The number of women plans. They intend to improve morethan their husbands, fathers and on the Andupatti disaster risk sanitation in their community, plant brothers to disaster preparedness. reduction committee increased from tree seedlings to prevent soil erosion, Through the project like DIPECHO two to five (out of a total of 11 and protect the banks of the Jaladh SAMADHAN, they are getting that members). These five women have River. They want to influence chance. It will be important to influence on the committee and are decisions on which seedlings to plant continue documenting their proud of the fact that they are and where to plant them. They want accomplishments and lessons increasing women’s participation in disaster preparedness trainings and events. “Every single woman in our village should benefit from this project,” they say. They believe that it is their participation on the disaster risk reduction committees that is now leading to more gender equity in disaster preparedness. Women are taking pride in their disaster preparedness measures – storing grains for the monsoon season, building raised storage shelves, and keeping important documents, such as citizenship certificates, in safe places. They are participating actively in community trainings on disaster preparedness.
  5. 5. learned in order to facilitate similar Dhanusa, Mahottari and Sarlahi to parity. The case of Andupatti VDC, processes in other vulnerable identify, prepare for, respond to, however, offers a powerful lesson communities. and mitigate the impact of natural on how to raise awareness about hazards. The project began in the importance of including women With funding from the European February 2006, and over the past in disaster preparedness planning Commission’s Humanitarian Aid year, more and more women have and training. It is also a lesson on department, CARE Nepal and its become engaged in disaster how women, when given the local partners, SUYUK, JAN, and preparedness and mitigation. In chance, can contribute a great deal LDTC, are raising awareness of 48 some VDCs, CARE and its local to disaster preparedness at both the communities in the districts of . partners still struggle with gender household and community levels. School Saved from Flood Sundarpur V.D.C is 10 km west from the district headquarter of Malangawa which is adjoined with Lakhandehi River. This village is highly prone to flood and every year people experiencing the loss of life and livelihoods. "It has made us worried, every year we are loosing our relatives and the properties" Ram Sundar Thakur of this villages expresses his grief. There is Devdhari Secondary School in Ward 9 of this VDC where about 700 children of different age groups are getting education. Due to heavy rainfall last year which school. Shree Gagandav Thakur, dam. Local people put up their free causes heavy flood in Lakhandeni teacher of the school recalls "last labor. "Our small contribution river. This heavily flooded river year too- flood surrounded the created the appropriate environment flown from middle of the school school from every corner which for the children to study in school which largely cut the land. Loads cause trouble in running the regular easily," says Project Co-ordinator of sand deposited in the school class for about one and half month.." Krishna Hari Paneru , "Dalits also premises due to which the School now feel safe to be here." closed. "Flood have been affecting The 50 households of Saraswati tole our study every year," says Dilip of Laxmipur V.D.C. which is close Gratitude has shown from every Kumar Poudel, student of the to this school are also heavily corner of this community for this affected by the flood occurring genuine task to mitigate disaster. every year which have made their "We put this problem to many life miserable. Since last March organization and many places for 2006, DIPECHO Project has the support, but nobody os ready. initiated its program implemented It was beyond attention and we feel by Action Aid throug local partner sad and serious about the matter," PRERANA. This school and these says Udit Narayan Jha, headmaster Dalit dwellings were detected as of the School "DIPECHO project the most sensitive area by this heard the voice of our community project. Decisions have been made and supported us." Jha adds," The to construct dam over Lakhandehi flood was the burning problem of River. With joint efforts of the local this village. Even the government people and the DIPECHO initiative- was silent for this issue but have constructed 80 feet long dam DIPECHO has done a lot for us. (piling of bamboo and filling sack) We are very much happy. "
  6. 6. "I could have saved my husband's life" Rupakali Darlami Magar, 45 years old widow from Makrahar-6, Bhulkedanda, is a treasurer of DMC (Disaster Management Committee) formed under DIPECHO project in Rupandehi District. Rupakali is also member of Kalika Community Forestry Group in Makrahar VDC and the President of a CBO formed by Children Development Community Organization. In the 3rd Quarterly Review Meeting (QRM) organized under DIPECHO Project, AAIN, she revealed a very thought provoking story. Here is her story: "I am 45 years in age and my husband died five years ago. I am illiterate, can hardly read a word and cannot think to write. I was simply a village dweller, having a One day again very big pain on the way leaving me alone. This normal life. Then, series of troubles happened in my live which created is life; I could not go with him. But came to my life. We displaced by disaster in my life. It was my I struggled to lead the life in full flood hat occurred in 1993 which misfortune to see body of my strengths. compelled us to leave from our place husband floating on the bank of where we had been residing for river. It was close from where we These days I am engaged with some years. After that we started to stay used to reside. I was shocked and community based organizations. I on public land which we can never worried and approached towards am also treasurer of the DMC in claim of ours. With the time our him without any delay. He was still Makrahar VDC. As my husband family has been adjusted with this breathing, so I make arrangements had been died due to flood, I have misfortune. to take him to the nearest hospital. deep feelings that we need to do But efforts became useless. He died something from ourselves within the community to protect ourselves, at least till the time and position that we will be able to seek the external support. When I got First Aid Training in DIPECHO Project implemented by Action Aid Nepal, I suddenly realized that I could have saved my husband's life. I could have provide him artificial respiration and made him alive till reaching the hospital. This is the change that I am feeling in my life which has been brought by DIPECHO project. Now, I am telling each and everyone about the importance of local capacity building and knowledge to save the lives from disaster so that people do not loose their nearest and dearest one."
  7. 7. Community built completed the activities at low cost in compare to that government Check Dams are cost spends over. We have set the effective example and it should be considers An interview with as model. We are transparent and Loknath Pandey accountable to community. Our President, Disaster Management program's budget is approved with Committee, the endorsement from the Basamadi, Makwanpur. community. 1. Why it is essence to form DMC? 5. How you have been established the coordination with related We live in Basamadi VDC of stakeholders? Makwanpur district which is in great threat of flood and landslides. The Coordination is actually very community has been affected from difficult task. But we have common disaster since last 7-8 years. For the challenge and thus have common reduction and the control of disaster agenda of mitigating the disaster. we are engaged in community We h a v e e s t a b l i s h e d g o o d activities by mobilizing local coordination with all stakeholders 3. How do you plan for the project resources. to alleviate the existing challenges. and for its implementation? Then we came in contact with Action 6. What do you think to make the With participatory approaches Aid Nepal and get the idea of disaster DMC more active? priority areas area are figure out to preparedness. Then, DMC was set the agendas. Then the community First of all DMC should have their formed and some awareness members plan the project. Then, we own office building and it needs advocacy programs were lunched regularly conduct discussions with direct funding support. As the NGOs with the support of AAN-DIPECHO. concerned authorities of government are in town and DMC are based in With the formation of DMC, we are and non governments and find out disaster prone areas, DMC knows encouraged to engage on disaster the appropriate way of reducing the the real field situation. Therefore, it management efforts. disaster and also for the funding is better to establish direct relation 2. Do you think there is equitable support. Community members are with the DMC by the donor participation of all level in DMC? contributing their efforts by agencies. collecting funds and contributing There is 33 percent representation Nepal government should allocate free labor. from women. Similarly, Dalit and budget for the DMC through VDC Janjatis are also equally included in and DDC. DMC should be 4. Is there transparency in fund our programs. Youth disaster mobilized to aware the community mobilization and working style? management committee has also about the disaster management. All been formed and there too we see Yes. We have accomplished the the agencies should work in favor women and girl's active participation. work in cost effective ways. We have of DMC.
  8. 8. We have tried to document some experience from Community based Disaster Risk Reduction projects implemented by the DIPECHO partners at local and national level. THese case studies and interviews might be helpful to get some insight of the strength of CBDRR and we can build on that in the coming future for a national level CBDRR programme to make the community more resilienet to disaster risks. Community based early We welcome your comments, warning towers in suggestion and feedbacks Chitwan by practical action Further Contact: Shashanka Saadi, Project Manager, Building Community Resilience to Disasters, DIPECHO-AAIN (shashanka.saadi@actionaid.org) You can also visit: www.dipechonepal.org and www.disasterpreparedness.icimod.org Contributors: Christina Chan, Selina Chan, Sten Van Leuffel, Julie Dickens, Mats Eriksson, Suresh Pokharel, Arbind Patel, Megh Ranjani Rai, Dipak Acharya, Peter Crawford, This newsletter has been produced by ActionAid Nepal with the financial assistance of the European Community. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Community