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Protifolon                                                                    Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change ...
Bangladesh: Clustered villages beat the floodsThe effects of recurrent flooding – at                                        ...
Photo: Md. Masum Billah                              Bhutan: Melting glaciers and flood riskBhutan is a small land-locked c...
India : Community Disaster Resilience FundThe Community Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF) is a                       Living ...
Photo:        Myanmar: Disaster Response and Resilience Learning Project                                ...
Photo: Md. Masum Billah                          Pakistan: Use of traditional knowledge   People living in Chitral distric...
Georgia Tech Photo: Peter Webster  Sri Lanka: Going back to indigenous riceClimate change is causing increasing hardship  ...
Emerging Lessons: Moving forwardGiven the challenges posed by climate change, it is                  success stories from ...
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Protifolon 3: Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation in South Asia


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Welcome to D.Net’s Protifolon, a new print and online policy briefing series that highlights cutting edge thinking on the emerging issues affecting Bangladesh. This issue focuses on where disaster risk management approaches are taking longer term climate change perspectives. The intention is to highlight, through a series of case studies and research summaries, some best practice/management practices implemented in South Asia and offer recommendations for both practitioners and policy makers.

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Protifolon 3: Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation in South Asia

  1. 1. Protifolon Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation in South Asia Issue 3, December 2010 Photo: Yoshi Shimizu/International Federation Contents Building resilience, reducing risk Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) has been high farmers in Hambantota district, Sri Lanka are on the international agenda since the Indian dealing with increasing soil salinity. Local• Building resilience, Ocean tsunami of 2004. In January 2005, 168 communities are often the most directly reducing risk governments agreed the Hyogo Framework for affected by disasters but they also possess Action, a detailed set of priorities to minimise important local knowledge, passed down• Bangladesh: Clustered losses – human lives as well as community and through generations, to manage risk. villages beat the floods other assets – by 2015. The five main areas of The poorest are the most vulnerable to risk. action are: They will probably have no savings or safety• Bhutan: Melting glaciers  making disaster risk reduction a priority; nets and no alternative sources of income or and flood risk  improving risk information and early warning; food if, for example, a flash flood destroys their• India : Community Disaster  building a culture of safety and resilience; home and livelihood. Reducing people’s vulnerability at the community level – being Resilience Fund  reducing risks in key sectors; and better prepared – means they will be more• Myanmar: Disaster  strengthening preparedness for response. resilient to natural hazards. DRR aims to reduce risk and minimise the Response and Resilience There are many types of DRR activities, some effects of a disaster by building safe homes in of which are described in more detail in the Learning Project flood-risk areas, implementing early warning articles that follow. For example: systems, or developing saline-resistant varieties• Pakistan: Use of traditional  establishing early warning systems, although of rice, for example. knowledge these can be costly to run and maintain It is now widely accepted that climate change• Sri Lanka: Going back to has a direct impact on the prevalence and  using local knowledge, which is tried and seriousness of disasters. Higher rainfall, tested in the local context indigenous rice changing temperatures and rising sea levels are  building understanding and awareness likely to make natural disasters more frequent. through local events and activities Adaptation to climate change and DRR both  developing contingency plansWelcome to D.Net’s Protifolon, a seek to reduce vulnerability and achieve  building flood-resistant buildings and safenew print and online policy sustainability. Indeed, efforts are growing to link homesbriefing series that highlights DRR and climate change adaptation more closely in policy and practice.  helping people find and develop alternativecutting edge thinking on the sources of income DRR is integral to adaptation – the ‘first line ofemerging issues affecting  putting insurance and micro-finance defense against climate change impacts’ suchBangladesh. This issue focuses as flooding from glacier melt or sea level rises. initiatives in place to help transfer risks andon where disaster risk DRR knowledge and expertise on building provide additional approaches are resilience is a useful starting point for adaptation Useful Reading policies. In turn, the DRR community, it istaking longer term climate Strengthening Climate Resilience: argued, needs to think more about the longerchange perspectives. The term impacts of climate change-related Integrating adaptation, disasters and development, is to highlight, through disasters such as the loss of biodiversity,a series of case studies and deforestation and soil erosion. Convergence of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation: Aresearch summaries, some best This issue of Protifolon focuses on: how local Review for DFID, by Tom Mitchell and communities in six countries in south-east Asia Maarten van Aalst, 2008,practice/management practices are managing risk; how they are coping withimplemented in South Asia and and preparing for possible disaster in their Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-offer recommendations for both villages; how people living on the flood plains of 2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasterspractitioners and policy makers. the Brahmaputra-Jamuna river in Bangladesh are coping with annual flooding; and how rice
  2. 2. Bangladesh: Clustered villages beat the floodsThe effects of recurrent flooding – at warning messages. Other communityleast once and sometimes twice a year activities included drama and– in poor rural communities living along school-based campaigns to raise DRR awareness, and community meetings to:the Brahmaputra-Jamuna river in demonstrate what to do before floodingBangladesh are severe and aggravated occurs; how to respond to early warningby climate change. While coping messages; where to find safe shelterstrategies developed over generations during floods; how to stockpile householdhave helped people to survive, they are assets in case of emergency; and so on.generally ill-prepared in the face ofrepeated flooding and ongoing erosion. Cluster housing Local training activities to mainstream livelihood-centered approaches to disaster management @ Practical Action Low-cost raised dwellings – or clusterAnnual flooding affects everyone. Even housing – are built at least seven feetthose who can cope lose their few assets, including their above the water level so that they are flood and stormsources of income like crops, for example. The most resistant. This has improved people’s ability to cope andvulnerable have no savings, no alternative skills or source fostered a social network within cluster villages so thatof income, and no family networks to turn to for help. people can support each other and work together. InA Practical Action project shows that a livelihoods particular, women living in cluster villages are now lessapproach to risk reduction can be effective in helping local vulnerable to disaster impacts, especially when pregnant orcommunities to increase their resilience to flooding. This giving birth. Further successful initiatives include:project was run in the Gaibanda, Bogra and Sirajganj  installing raised tube wells (hand pumps) for cleandistricts on the west bank and floodplains of the river. drinking water whilst normal wells are contaminated byA community-based livelihoods approach puts people first floodwaterand aims to strengthen their ability to prepare for, cope  planting saplings around villages to prevent soil erosionwith, and recover from shocks and hazards. The project  encouraging alternative livelihood opportunities foralso links this approach to wider national and institutional income and food, such as floating gardens, vegetableinitiatives to encourage local government officials and gardening, fish culture and tailoring.policymakers to respond more effectively to poor people’s Setting up cluster villages stimulated a productiveneeds. Coupled with disaster preparedness and exchange of ideas and learning, and encouraged people tocontingency planning that build on people’s own coping adapt and replicate successful practices. Innovationsmechanisms, communities can now manage hazardous based on people’s experience and knowledge are neededsituations more effectively and recover more quickly. to ensure that development is sustainable and thatThe communities involved assessed their own situation, communities remain resilient.using participatory tools. They identified local risks,discussed their strengths and weaknesses, and theirassets and deficiencies. They explored ways to strengthen Contacttheir existing coping strategies and skills. Communities also Practical Action, House 12/B, Road 4, Dhanmondi,voluntarily formed community-based organisations to lead Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh, Tel +88 02 8650439, Fax +88in identifying and implementing local development 02 9674340,,activities. All of this has reinforced community cohesion www.practicalaction.organd emphasised the value of collective action duringadverse times.The project provided training and capacity development in See alsodisaster risk reduction (DRR) for community volunteers, Good Practices for Community Resilience, edited bystudents, teachers, religious leaders, and district and Barkat Ullah, Farida Shahnaz, and Pieter Van Den Ende,sub-district disaster management committees. Around Mainstreaming Livelihood Centered Approaches to300 community members and 300 school children, half of Disaster Management, Practical Action Bangladesh,which are female, volunteered for the training, which 2009, search and rescue, first aid, and circulating early 2
  3. 3. Photo: Md. Masum Billah Bhutan: Melting glaciers and flood riskBhutan is a small land-locked country in the eastern to support efforts to adapt to the effects of climate changeHimalayas. It has one of the most formidable mountainous through long-term capacity strengthening activities withterrains in the world, with peaks rising as high as 7,500 governments and civil society.metres and the entire northern highlands covered with Many villages, towns, agricultural land, and importantglaciers or snow. Temperatures are predicted to rise by at infrastructure such as hydropower installations are locatedleast 2ºC by 2100 and glaciers to retreat by 49cm. downstream of rivers fed by these high-risk glacial lakes. A GLOF would have a devastating impact on people’s lives, livelihoods, settlements, and infrastructure. Government, civil society and communities need to plan and adopt adaptation measures as a matter of urgency. Some measures have been already taken in a few areas, for example:  Personnel have been posted to remote areas and provided with radio communication systems to monitor lakes as a rudimentary early warning system. But remote sensing technology is crucial for monitoring changes in glacial retreat and the growth of glacial lakes.  Risk assessment and mapping have determined who the most vulnerable people are and where they live.  Engineering measures included lowering the water levels of high-risk lakes.  Other measures may involve relocating the most vulnerable populations, reinforcing bridges and roads, Bhutan’s landscape makes its people vulnerable to climate and constructing check dams and riverbank protection change @Jeremy Horner/Panos walls.Bhutan is thus becoming increasingly vulnerable to climatechange-related extreme weather events. Many Bhutaneselive in fertile valleys along river systems that begin life in the Contactglaciers and glacial lakes. If the lakes burst through the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies : House 10,moraine, the lives and properties of these communities are Road 16A, Gulshan-1, Dhaka–1212, Bangladesh, Telat risk. This has happened several times over the last 100 +880-2-8851237, Fax +880-2-8851417,,years. The last glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) along the www.bcas.netPuna Tsang Chu valley in 1994 destroyed many housesand livelihoods without warning. See alsoPeople in Bhutan have maintained a delicate balance overthe centuries between their lifestyles and the fragile Capacity Strengthening in the Least Developed Countriesmountain ecosystem, which could be seriously disrupted for Adaptation to Climate Change, Adverse Impacts ofby climate change. Various studies and practical Climate Change on Development of Bhutan: Integratingobservations show that flooding from burst glacial lakes is Adaptation into Policies and Activities, by Mozaharul Alama real threat. There are 2,674 glacial lakes in Bhutan and and Dago Tshering, CLACC Working Paper 2, Bhutan,24 have been identified as potentially dangerous with a Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, 2004,high risk of bursting their banks and causing flash floods. Strengthening in Least Developed Countries for Local Coping Strategies and Technologies for AdaptationAdaptation to Climate Change is a multi-country project run to Climate Change, UNFCCC Expert Workshop, 12-13by the International Institute for Environment and October 2003, New Delhi, Country Presentation onDevelopment in association with partner organisations in Bhutan by Thinley Namgyel, National EnvironmentKenya, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Bhutan. The project aims Commission, Royal Government of Bhutan, 3
  4. 4. India : Community Disaster Resilience FundThe Community Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF) is a Living with floods in Biharmechanism to direct resources for disaster risk reduction Communities in five villages in Darbanga district, Bihar, have(DRR) to vulnerable communities. The National Alliance for formed disaster task forces, which include women and men,Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction, a network of 170 to work out how they can cope with recurrent flooding. Theorganisations working with local communities, coordinates the villages – Molaganj, Kharatia, Jamalchak, Ranipur and Alinagarfund and aims to bridge community experience with disaster – were selected because they suffer from flooding more thanrisk management, climate change adaptation and to develop others. Flood water enters these villages first and stay there forpolicies at all levels in India. the longest time– up to three months, resulting in the loss of food, seeds, fodder, grains, agricultural produce, livestock,The fund aims to: medicines, documents, and most importantly, livelihoods. Many people live below the poverty show that a funding mechanism can line and caste divisions prevail. promote a decentralised, pro-poor community-driven approach to DRR Kanchan Seva Asharam, a local NGO, encouraged the formation of the task forces develop the capacity of local communities and trained participants. Twenty five new to identify their vulnerabilities and how self-help groups in two villages now have seed they can reduce associated risks funding, which they are increasing by lending improve understanding of community on to member groups who can then lease land resources and resilience initiatives for growing vegetables. The groups also have generate lessons and resources, and form community grain banks. A longer term aim is to partnerships to ensure that community-led Promoting locally led DRR @ National Alliance establish links between the village level task disaster resilience priorities are met. for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2009 forces and disaster management authorities and other government departments.The initiative was launched in eight states: Assam, Bihar, RecommendationsOrissa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Gujarat,  Government, NGOs, and private entities need to recogniseand Rajasthan. Communities seen as the most vulnerable to the important role that women and community groups candisasters and facing multiple hazards were selected for the play in DRR activities. Building on existing local knowledgepilot project. These hazards include annual floods, flash and experience in coping with disaster will help communitiesfloods, tsunami waves, cyclones, droughts, heat waves, build resilience.earthquakes, and groundwater salinity.  DRR programmes must be aligned with poverty reduction,Communities identified a wide range of issues during mapping income generation, and sustainable development initiatives.exercises including: the need to place water pumps and  Community-level disaster preparedness and resiliencesanitation facilities on higher ground away from flood water strategies need to be used as resources and startinglevels, the need for safe and flood-resistant housing; and the points in creating social safety nets.need to find alternative livelihood strategies given that farmingis so vulnerable to devastation from extreme weather events. ContactStronger community resilience would also require: P. Chandran, National Alliance for Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction, C/O SEEDS : 15 A, DMA Building, Sector 4, betterstrategies to prepare for disaster R K Puram, New Delhi-110063, India, Tel +91 9341229702, early warning and emergency response measures, stronger community resilience practices – regarding health See Also services, and sanitation and drinking water facilities, in One year later... Learning’s’ from the Pilot Initiative in India, particular. National Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction, Community Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF) October 2009,The project resulted in some impressive examples for DRR community-based adaptation initiatives in several states,including the story of Bihar, outlined below. Disaster Watch: 4
  5. 5. Photo: Myanmar: Disaster Response and Resilience Learning Project Cyclone Nargis describe how they have applied their learning to their work hit Myanmar in environment, and to collect feedback on the workbook. The May 2008 with exposure visit provided participants with the opportunity to 200 kilometre observe another organisation and to assess and learn from winds and tidal how it operated in response to the cyclone. surges of up to four metres high. Lessons learnt included: It is estimated that  Allow time to overcome challenges: for example, the lack up to 2.4 million of communication technologies (fax, internet) created people were coordination challenges. affected and at least 135,000  Create opportunities for knowledge transfer: most Participants during peer learning activity killed. participants wanted to share their knowledge and @ Save the Children in Myanmar learning. Ways must be found to extend the programme’s reach across the humanitarian sector and relatedThe Disaster Response and Resilience Learning Project is aninter-agency capacity-building effort, developed by Save the communities.Children, to improve response and recovery capacity and to  Value staff time and experience: working within anstrengthen disaster risk reduction practices. The project aimed emergency situation means staff are constantly faced withto reach 480 staff working in humanitarian organisations, to urgent deadlines, impromptu requests, and changingincrease learning of concepts and principles related to priorities which need to be recognised andhumanitarian work, including: DRR and disaster response, accommodated within the learning process.accountability, and international standards.  Promote learning for all staff in an emergency: theAn assessment helped identify the learning needs and foundation knowledge provided in this programme ispreferences of staff in local and international NGOs and essential for all humanitarian and NGO staff. Training anddirectly informed the objectives and approach of the project. capacity building opportunities are needed at all levels,The assessment revealed that, prior to Cyclone Nargis: including ‘front-line’ staff and those based in the field. 48 percent of respondents had worked for a humanitarian The initial results are positive and have reinforced the need to organisation continue to support the capacity building of humanitarian 29 percent had worked in an emergency situation staff in Myanmar. Further improvements to increase the reach of the programme include: 89 percent had never received training in emergency response, humanitarian principles, or disaster  providing training-of-trainer sessions and encouraging preparedness. organisations to offer the programme to their own staffInnovative participant-centered learning, based on experience  establishing links with regional and internationalin Sri Lanka, included field-based activities, on-the-job organisations and capacity building initiatives to adapt thelearning, peer support, and personal reflection. Training tools materials and resources for other contexts andincluded a self-study workbook, workshops, group meetings, languages.and ‘exposure’ visits. The workbooks allowed staff to learn on Contacttheir own without taking them away from their work forsignificant periods. They were clearly written and accessible Thanda Kyaw, Disaster Response and Resilience Learning Project,to all those working in local, community-based, national, and Save the Children in Myanmar,,international organisations. The workshops provided support Tel +95-1-536 732 / 537 092 ext. 106/107to participants and helped build confidence during thelearning process. Group meetings provided participants with See alsothe opportunity to discuss their learning, ask questions, Disaster Preparedness Programme, Save the Children in Myanmar Case Study, May 2009, 5
  6. 6. Photo: Md. Masum Billah Pakistan: Use of traditional knowledge People living in Chitral district, the water to Drasun until morning high in the Hindu Kush in prayers. north-west Pakistan, depend Improving the efficiency of water-use largely on natural resources. The is another strategy used in Mulkhow, area is remote and vulnerable to again a highly effective indigenous climate-change-induced water system. Firstly, maintenance of scarcity and flooding. High irrigation channels is carried out transportation costs, increased through mirzhoi (communities hire prices of consumer goods, and a one or more people and pay them in shortage of clean water following grain after each harvest). Secondly, a disaster considerably add to the communities pool their people’s vulnerability. resources and collectively maintain The International Centre for water-harvesting structures and Integrated Mountain Development carry out annual or emergency repair was involved in a research project and maintenance. This collective across four countries examining The recent flooding in Pakistan has devastated large areas of the maintenance is called mone (or how local communities are adapting country @ UNICEF/mogwanja services by turn). to water-related constraints and hazards made worse by climate change in the Himalayan region. How do people cope and respond? And how And in Shishikoh? successful are their strategies at reducing vulnerability? The increasing frequency of flash floods has forced people to People have many different livelihood strategies including leave the plains and construct their houses higher up on water harvesting, crop diversification, seasonal migration, slopes. They also build their houses out of stone rather than micro-credit and tapping into social networks. mud which provides better protection against floods. But This article focuses on how two very different areas in Chitral people can only do this if they have access to land, social district are coping with water stresses, by using traditional capital, and financial resources. knowledge in particular. Shishikoh Valley has too much water, whereas Mulkhow has too little. Shishikoh endures There is no organised flood or erosion control system in devastating flash floods: the fertile, irrigated land is in danger Shishikoh. Realising that exploiting the forests leads to flash of being washed away, and local communities find it hard to floods, inhabitants of Kalas and Madaklasht villages have adapt. Mulkhow communities suffer acute water shortages banned commercial and illegal cutting. They have as a result of changing rainfall patterns and snowfall. Springs, established committees and rules under which no one is the only source of water, have dried up and water in irrigation allowed to graze animals or cut trees in certain parts of the canals is often wasted before reaching crops. forest. The economic status of households, strong social networks, How do people cope in Mulkhow? the existence of resource (water and land) user rights, and indigenous knowledge all contribute to successful Agriculture is wholly dependent on surface irrigation or adaptation. On the other hand, poverty, isolation, the scale of networks of small irrigation channels. Streams from glacial melt and natural springs are the only source of water. In the hazards, poor social networks, and the lack of relevant response to shortages, villagers build chats or small policies are amongst the many constraining factors. reservoirs to store water for agriculture and drinking. They also rely on an ancient system: water is allotted Contact according to how much agricultural land families own. A International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, rotation system between villages means that some use it in Box 3226, Khumaltar, Kathmandu, Nepal, Tel the day time and others at night. In Drasun village, for +97715003222, Fax +97715003299, example, people get their water at night in the summer, while in Saht they get it during the day. The logic behind such an See also arrangement is that Saht is close to the water source Traditional Knowledge and Local Institutions Support whereas Drasun is at the tail end and the chances of losing Adaptation to Water-Induced Hazards in Chitral, Pakistan, water through evaporation during the day are greater. So ICIMOD, by Shahid Nadeem, Imran Elahi, Abdul Hadi, and people in Saht finish work before evening prayers and divert Ihsan Uddin, 2009, 6
  7. 7. Georgia Tech Photo: Peter Webster Sri Lanka: Going back to indigenous riceClimate change is causing increasing hardship are resistant to extreme drought conditions, Videosand lifestyle changes in rural areas throughout diseases, and pests. Traditionally, theseSri Lanka. It is predicted that temperatures will varieties were grown using natural inputs such Check out Protifolon’srise here faster than the average global rate of as organic manure rather than chemical disaster risk reductionwarming, and that extreme weather events fertilisers or pesticides. and climate changesuch as cyclones, heat waves, and heavier Seventeen farmers in Hambantota district adaptation videos on Yourainfall will become more frequent. participated in ten trials – in collaboration with Tube: the National Federation of Traditional Seeds and Agri Resource and with the support of Practical Action – to see which rice varieties Subscribe to Protifolon could survive salinity. Send your name and Farmers were given the choice of ‘variety address to selection’ and asked to score the different rice D.Net (Development types according to duration of crop, plant Research Network height, grain quality, and yield. The four 6/8, Humayun Road, varieties with the highest scores were then Mohammadpur Farmers harvesting rice @ G.M.B. Akash / Panos promoted through farmer organisations as Dhaka-1207, BangladeshThe effects of climate change will be felt most hardy, saline-tolerant, high quality rice suitable in agriculture and food security, for coastal rice paddies.water and coastal resources, biodiversity, and This participatory approach enabled marginalised Online subscriptionshuman health. Rice yields could fall by nearly farmers to adapt to changing conditions.six percent with a 0.5C temperature rise – in http://protifolon.bdresearturn leading to a reduction in Sri Lanka’s gross Although traditional rice does not produce the product of 0.2 percent, as paddy yields of hybrid varieties, farmers’ profitssalinity increases following sea level rises. remain high. Traditional rice varieties only require organic manure and are purchased at Letters to the editorIncreased evaporation will boost demand forirrigated water, further contributing to water a higher price by the federation – consumer We welcome yourscarcity. Higher rainfall will increase soil demand for these rare types of rice is high. feedback on this issue oferosion and silt up reservoirs. Applying organic fertiliser has also started to Protifolon. Please write toClimate change will have a significant impact ease the soil salinity problem. us using the contacton Sri Lanka’s rural farmers and force Using local knowledge and working with details on page 8. Pleaseprofound lifestyle changes. It will destroy farmer communities and national farmer include your name andlivelihoods if communities do not learn about federations is important when assessing address or email.climate change and get the support they need alternative options for adaptation. Theseto adjust. options consider community needs and the challenges they face from rising temperatures, See also drought, and saline intrusion. Promoting Adaptation toTesting traditional rice varieties As one farmer said, “We were on the verge of Climate Change in Sri Lanka, aFor rice farmers in Hambantota district in the briefing for government advisorssouth, increased salinity in their rice paddy abandoning our fields. The introduction offields was a significant problem, with yields traditional rice has given a new lease of life to and development practitioners,dropping steeply, by up to 50 percent. The us and our fields”. Practical Action UK, 2008,situation worsened following the 2004 Indian tsunami, creating a lack of fresh waterfor irrigation. Contact Success of Traditional Organic Practical Action Sri Lanka: 5 Lionel Edirisinghe Paddy Cultivation in TsunamiLong-forgotten types of indigenous riceoffered a local solution to increasing soil Mawatha, Kirulapone, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka, Affected Fallow and Marginalizedsalinity. There are around 2,000 traditional rice Tel: +94 11 2829 412/3/4 Salinity Fields in Sri Lanka, byvarieties in Sri Lanka and many are highly, Varuna Rathnabharathie,nutritional with medicinal properties and most 7
  8. 8. Emerging Lessons: Moving forwardGiven the challenges posed by climate change, it is success stories from Sri Lanka (traditional rice varieties)important that disaster risk management interventions help and Pakistan (indigenous irrigation managementpeople to manage and create sustainable changes that will system) were both due to local knowledge.allow them to adapt over time, as well as protect them from  Raise awareness and offer and encourage training anddisasters. capacity development in disaster risk management.The development of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning People need to know what to do if a disaster is aboutSystem, according to the International Strategy for Disaster to happen or has just happened: warning systems,Reduction, is a major achievement. Awareness of disaster search and rescue, first aid, where to find safe shelterrisk in the area is now far higher, thanks in part to the during floods, how to stockpile food for an emergency,Hyogo Framework for Action. Yet, less has been achieved and so reaching those most at risk – for example building safer  Set in place early warning systems. These can rangehomes on higher ground in Pakistan or clustered villages in from the expensive (remote sensors to monitor glacierBangladesh. retreat) to the less-expensive (network of local peopleEmerging lessons from a number of community-level who alert others by whatever means is locally possible:experiences in various South Asian countries outlined in text messages, newspapers, churches etc).this issue of Protifolon underscore the need to:  Encourage support networks so that people can look Identify the most vulnerable locations and population out for each other, work together in times of stress and groups and the types of support they will need to learn from each other. Clustered villages in Bangladesh prepare for and cope with disaster. are a good example. Recognise the important role that community groups  Develop low-cost housing appropriate for the and women in particular can play in disaster risk environment people live in, such as raised dwellings or reduction activities. Involving communities is crucial: stone buildings to escape flooding. students and teachers, religious and community  Ensure access to clean water, when normal supplies leaders, local government officials, local businesses, are contaminated, with easily maintained wells and among others. hand pumps. Build on existing knowledge and experience: theEditorial teamA. Atiq Rahman, BCASFatema Rajabali, IDSMafruha Alam, D.NetMd. Masum Billah, D.NetShah Md. Ashraful Amin, BCASConsultant editorLouise DanielDesignMd. Masum Billah Protifolon is published by D.Net (Development Research Network)Protifolon is brought to you by the Bangladesh 6/8, Humayun Road, Block B, Mohammadpur, Dhaka 1207, BangladeshOnline Research Network (BORN) an information Tel +880 2 8124976, 9131424, Fax +880 2 812021and knowledge initiative of D.Net. Email Protifolon is produced in collaboration with IDS Knowledge Services. The views expressed in Protifolon do not necessarily reflect those of D.Net or IDS. The publication may be reproduced or distributed for non-commercial purposes in any form or by any means, or stored in a data base or retrieval system. However, proper quotation and reference is mandatory.