Malteser International promotes self-responsibility and participation
Cologne - A new disaster risk reduction project that started in April in Quang Nam province is increasing the focus on the living conditions and needs of people with disabilities. In cooperation with the Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) Quang-Nam, Malteser International will train people with disabilities and their families in 46 villages in order to empower them to actively contribute to the local disaster risk reduction processes.
The population living along the coast and rivers Vu Gia and Thu Bon are regularly affected by floods and typhoons. Despite this permanent threat, the area lacks appropriate emergency response measures. Only a few families own boats which could be used for evacuation. “The people do not know how and where they could evacuate”, explains Mai Thi Dung, Malteser International project manager in Danang. “Current warnings often come through village loudspeakers when the water is almost reaching the doorstep. Particularly for people with disabilities, this is far too late. Even if their families are able to help them, they need a very early warning and additional assistance to evacuate in time”. That is why Malteser International aims at promoting the direct participation of the people with disabilities in the village committees for disaster risk reduction, who receive additional training in early warning and inclusive evacuation.
The project also focuses on the implementation of direct evacuation and emergency response measures, which include setting up, training and equipping local rescue teams, who assist persons with disabilities and their families according to priority evacuation lists. The newly elaborated evacuation plans will be tested and trained in extensive evacuation drills with the village population.
The two-year project is mainly financed by the Humanitarian Assistance of the Federal Republic of Germany. Since 1966, Malteser International has been working in Vietnam, currently in projects regarding disaster risk reduction and natural resource management.
Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 100 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.int