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Training on disaster response

Climate change haunts people’s lives, as new weather patterns increase the risk and worsen the negative impacts of disasters. NAC is helping the people of Badakhshan gather the knowledge and equipment and build the coordination systems that are needed when lives are on the line.

Training on disaster prevention and response

Working with village elders and those who know the area best, NAC’s experts map natural hazards, construct a response plan and conduct a seven-day training to increase environmental and disaster awareness. The training explains the preventive value of good natural resource management; how forests, pastures and watersheds reduce the risk and the impact of natural hazards. It also trains the communities to respond in the initial stage of disaster.

Then follows the main training round, where the communities train first aid and rescue for three days. In a culturally sensitive way, the training stresses that both women and men must respond in disasters, with the women responsible for helping other women. The villagers are divided into groups of 10-14 with different tasks, first-aid, search and rescue, logistics or communication. This is followed up with refresher training that recaps the first course, but adds a stronger focus on communication, coordination, planning and decision making. In separate sessions, the teachers and children of 42 schools have been trained on how to react in case disaster hits the school, organising in groups along the same lines as the adults.

When disaster hits, the quicker the help, the more lives can be saved. Therefore, NAC and the communities plan and execute simulation exercises, where the population enacts and responds to a simulated, but realistic disaster scenario, based on the actual hazards that the community faces. 

Provincial coordination

Natural disasters often come in spates. An earthquake will hit a whole region in one strike. Floods and landslides often occur in many places at the same time, as extreme weather washes over the area. Therefore, the provincial authorities must have the oversight and capacity to be able to coordinate disaster response in several places at the same time.

In 2014, NAC has facilitated and co-chaired Badakhshan’s DRR working group, consisting of provincial authorities, NGOs, and others who work with disaster preparedness and response. On a monthly basis, the different actors share experiences and coordinate their work. For example, an NGO had plans to work with DRR in the villages that NAC was already assisting, but after a working group meeting, that NGO could select other villages that were in need of help.

NAC trains officials at the district and provincial level on various aspects of risk assessment and disaster response. NAC has helped prepare detailed maps of the most disaster-prone areas and a database
with the resources at hand: stockpiles with disaster equipment and knowledge in the villages. NAC has also prepared guidelines for disaster management at the provincial level, detailing roles and responsibilities of various actors and the lines of communication. 

Life-saving knowledge at all levels

Badakhshan is increasingly plagued by disasters resulting from the combination of climate change and geological factors such as erosion and earthquakes. In remote mountain villages, disaster response from the outside is challenging, if at all possible.

The local population must have the knowledge and equipment to start the rescue operations without waiting for help from the outside. District and provincial authorities need to know what resources exist in the area, who does what and how to communicate with each other. NAC has therefore been working at all levels: on the ground in the villages, with the district authorities and at the provincial level. 

Norwegian Afghanistan Committee
Addresse:  Nawai Watt, Street # 03 •  Postal addresse:
work # 148 Shahr-i-Naw, KabulAfghanistan

Please donate to bank account 7877. 06. 53737 • Last modified 16.10.19
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