Disaster reduction - concrete projects
In 2009 the Federal Foreign Office is supporting over 70 disaster reduction projects worldwide, for instance in China, Afghanistan, Togo, the Philippines and in the Caribbean. Project partners are German non-governmental organizations, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the organizations of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement.
Rettungskräfte suchen nach Verschütteten (c) picture-alliance/dpa
© picture-alliance/ dpa
The earthquake in Sichuan in May 2008 claimed more than 200,000 lives and far way over a million people were affected.
With a view to strengthening disaster reduction and early warning, the Federal Foreign Office is supporting a Sino-German training course on seismology and the assessment of seismic threats run by the GFZ Potsdam, Germany’s national research centre for geosciences. In August 2009, Chinese participants were trained in China using the newest scientific findings and innovative technologies in the fields of the causes of geological threats, introduction to seismic threats in Asia and to seismology working methods, risk assessment and disaster management.
The course will be continued in Potsdam in 2010 taking in topics such as automatic earthquake evaluation, direct and induced earthquake effects as well as earthquake engineering methodology.
Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, floods, droughts, avalanches and landslides. Extremely cold periods are increasingly followed by droughts, heavy rain causes flooding of river beds and moraines.
In Afghanistan the need to strengthen local structures and capacities for disaster reduction is particularly great. The Federal Foreign Office is therefore providing assistance for example in a project in Baghlan province. In 20 particularly endangered villages, the population and authorities were involved in work to assess the threat and risk potential. Disaster Awareness Managers were trained as regional multipliers and in turn offered training for the local population. The priorities were making emergency equipment with what was available locally, taking action to avert danger and rules governing coordination and steps to be taken during and after disasters. The training also dealt with first aid for the injured and steps to prevent epidemics.
Emergency accommodation used by the communities was identified and, where necessary, building work carried out to strengthen the structure.
A group of women is discussing typhoon emergency plans
The Philippines with its more than 7,000 islands is one of the countries in the world which is most threatened by natural disasters. It is struck time and again by volcano eruptions, floods, typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes. Salcedo on Samar Island, a promontory sticking out into the sea, is at particular threat.
The Federal Foreign Office is therefore supporting a pilot project in Salcedo, Eastern Samar, to reduce the disaster risk through resource management in the coastal region. Resource protection steps for the sea and coast are being drawn up in local communities, marine protection areas built and resource management for the coastal region is being planned. Local government, municipal organizations, fisheries and bodies responsible for marine resource management are being advised on, for example, drawing up joint strategies to develop uniform fishing guidelines.
In recent years, Togo was struck by a large number of floods, torrential rain falls and spring floods, which, as well as causing material damage, resulted in many fatalities and injuries. The slow speed at which the floodwater drains away makes the threat of epidemics (for example, cholera) very real.
The project supported by the Federal Foreign Office therefore helps strengthen disaster reduction in the case of floods in the Maritime region including Lomé, in the Plateaux region and the Savanes region.
The project includes implementing a model coordinated disaster reduction strategy for 100 villages networked with the national authorities with a view to increasing the population’s self-help capacities in the region.
The Caribbean is particularly affected by the increasing number and intensity of cyclones, torrential rain, mudslides and floods. What is more, the region is often hit by earthquakes and volcano eruptions.
With a view to improving the capacity to provide initial emergency aid to the local population, the Federal Foreign Office is supporting a project on the islands Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and Saint Lucia. In the entire project region, uniform standards for first aid and emergency aid are to be drawn up and relevant information, work and training materials passed on to the population. With the help of radio adverts, up to 4.3 million people are to be involved across the project region.
Last updated 23.10.2009