Some 15,000 families in Uzbekistan are better prepared to respond to natural disasters following training sessions and information sharing.
World Vision has conducted training sessions since February in the capital, Tashkent, an area prone to earthquakes. The ‘Tashkent Disaster Risk Reduction Project’ will train 70,000 people in disaster awareness and support preparedness and mitigation activities of 11 urban ‘mahallas’ (neighbourhoods) by the end of the project.
“Working at the community and household-level tremendously helps to prevent disaster impact as families and traditional mahalla structures are naturally most interested in a safe environment,” said Hannes Reuter, Project Manager, World Vision Uzbekistan.
Trainers and volunteers conducted sessions for more than 10,000 Tashkent families on the establishment of Family Disaster Preparedness Plans (FDPP) and household mitigation measures. An additional 5,000 families from target mahallas of other World Vision Uzbekistan projects received information brochures and FDPP manuals.
“We have received very important information in a very short period of time. We should definitely teach our population, especially children how to prepare and how to respond to the disasters. The demand to learn this topic will never decrease,” said Mahamadali Isroilov who lives in Makhalla Dombirobod.
In order to strengthen the mitigation, preparedness and response capacity of the communities, Mahalla Disaster Preparedness Committees were established who in turn created Mahalla Disaster Preparedness Plans. To make the plans more effective further disaster preparedness plans of other institutions situated in the area are to be developed and integrated.
Moreover, special trainings on Light Search and Rescue Work and First Aid were conducted for teams of volunteers from the 11 target Mahallas. In order to strengthen the obtained knowledge and skills, the trainings were followed by simulations where the teams were able to show in practice what they have learnt during their theoretical training. According to the results of the simulations the rescuers were certified.
“Our population - especially the youth - learnt to make the right decisions during emergency situations. The spread of knowledge to the other Mahallas of Tashkent will increase the efficiency of DRR,” said Bakhodir Yunusov, Chairperson of Farkhod Mahalla Committee.
In order to further support mahallas and their population and to ensure the sustainability of the project, sets of emergency tools, first aid kits and educational materials have been provided to the target Mahalla Disaster Preparedness Committees. Also, demonstration rooms for effective non-structural mitigation were established and a video on community-based DRR produced and disseminated among stakeholders. Radio clips and articles contributed to public awareness also outside the target area.
A DRR Co-ordination Group was established which contributed to joint strategies and effective implementation of DRR activities of various Uzbek emergency-related stakeholders.
In a follow-up project, World Vision Uzbekistan will focus on DRR for kindergarten and young school children, as well as for people with disabilities.
The ‘Tashkent Disaster Risk Reduction Project’ is funded by the Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (ECHO) and World Vision Germany.
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