Philippines: Children taught to cope with disaster and climate change
Catbalogan City, Samar -- Plan International, a child-centered NGO in Samar took the challenge to train children in Gandara, Samar about Risk Reduction & Management and Climate Change Adaptation.
On December 14-16, participants comprising of elementary and high school students, were oriented on the basic concepts of disasters and calamities, such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and other climate change-related disasters that affect their schools and their communities, and how to avoid or mitigate its effects.
The children were also trained on how to identify the hazards they are exposed to in their environment, and put them in the hazard maps which they themselves have drawn. They were also taught to identify several hazard warning signals such as signages, bells, whistles and rain gauges, which they could use to avoid or mitigate the hazardous effects.
The children’s training is part of Plan International’s compliance to the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act 0f 2010 said Lolita de Mesa, project facilitator.
She added that although all the barangays in this municipality have organized their Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Councils, they do not have the capacity to face disasters and mitigate its effects.
Since the children are the most vulnerable to these hazards, Plan International decided to enable and train the children from eight riverside barangays of Sto. Nino, Tambongan, Pizarro, Katorse de Agosto, Tagnao, San Agustin, Nacube, and Natimonan.
For their part, the children-participants pledged that once they go back to their respective schools and communities, they will share their knowledge with their classmates and people in the barangay through re-echo and drills.
Funded by the Post Code Lottery of Sweden, Plan International Inc earlier held a similar training for the first batch of children also coming from the said barangays, through Plan-Western Samar. (PIA 8, Samar with reports from Ana Marie Castillo)