Thanks to a contribution made by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Red Cross will commence a disaster risk reduction programme in Yemen next August 2009. This project concerns the governorates Hadhramaut and Taez. Yemen is the poorest country of the Middle East, but still some governorates have been hit extremely hard. Hadhramaut was just lately depredated by a cyclone of strength 3, which lasted 36 hours. Taez not only struggles due to the lack of fresh water resources, but their capacities are seriously strained by hundreds of refugees from Somalia, which come every month over the red sea.
The aim of the German Red Cross is to strengthen community preparedness for disaster mitigation by mobilizing self-help in the communities. The main project objective is to raise risk awareness in the population so that in the case of a disaster the population can react following the national plan for Disaster Management.
The population of eight carefully chosen communities will be aware of the natural hazards in their environment and will know how to protect themselves. A vulnerability and capacity assessment will be carried out and passed on to the local authorities. With this information, maps of the danger zones will be drafted and signs put up to point out evacuation routes.
To make the communities less dependent on national help, task forces will be established and trained to help in the case of a disaster. The coordination between all the different groups will be the responsibility of a local Disaster-Management-Committee, which will be located in Taez. Every member of the committee has to be informed about all the different sectors, but gets a clear set of duties.
To raise awareness within the broad population, it is important to especially teach the young people about disaster risk reduction. Teachers of 16 different schools will participate in lessons on disaster risk reduction, climate change and first aid and will also learn how to pass it on to their students in a memorable way. In at least ten schools the students will be encouraged to attend special workshops on topics such as disaster prevention. Every school will carry out disaster exercises on a regular basis and draw up their own emergency plans.
Should you like to read more on the development of this project please visit the German Red Cross website (below) from October 2009.
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