Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Disaster-prone villages in south Pakistan trained in early warning

Amir Saeed in Thomson Reuters Foundation: Thanks to training in how to keep safe from storms, fisherman Muhammad Siddique and his colleagues in southern Pakistan’s Thatta district now know when they should stay on dry land.

“The early warning teams update us daily on the sea’s condition, and we avoid going fishing if it is rough and dangerous,” said Siddique, who lives around 98 km (60 miles) east of Karachi, near a salt-water creek.

Development agencies in Pakistan have started building the ability of local communities to protect themselves from natural hazards like cyclones and floods, with the aim of minimising human and economic losses.

A community disaster risk management project, called Tahafuz (Protection), was recently completed in four disaster-prone districts of Pakistan’s southerly Sindh province by the Rural Support Programmes Network, one of the country’s largest development agencies reaching over 33 million rural inhabitants.

“It was a challenge for us to train and educate people in disaster risk reduction, as this was one of the first projects of its kind in Pakistan,” said Akbar Raza, who managed the Tahafuz project funded by the U.S. government....

Kund Malir beach in Balochistan, Pakistan, shot by Bilal Mirza, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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