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Disaster Risk Reduction Day 2012 to focus on awareness- CDC

Disaster Risk Reduction Day 2012 to focus on awareness- CDC

Georgetown, GINA, September 19, 2012

Operations and Training Officer of the Civil Defence Commission Major Kester Craig recently indicated that as the commission prepares to host Disaster Risk Reduction Day on October 13,  the thrust for the activities will be the promotion of awareness to the general population and various stakeholders.

Disaster Risk Reduction Day 2011 focused on children and their role in disaster risk management, as it was outlined that during times of disaster they tend to suffer most from discomfiture.

“This year the focus is on women and girls…they are actually touted as the invisible hand in disaster risk management…in many occasions when you visit the communities to conduct outreaches, you find that most of the times, most of the participants are women,” Major Craig stated.

He added that 80-85% of the participants of the current CDC workshop for Region Four personnel are women, which confirms that women play a very major role in all spheres of disaster risk management.

“Definitely we will want to showcase that…this year we want to do a mini-exhibition, video and photos showing what are being done by women both overseas and locally in disaster risk management and disaster risk reduction… One of the main parts of the entire campaign is called step up for disaster risk reduction so we can start stepping up,” Major Craig said.

A participant during the shelter management simulation exercise

Craig explained that whilst everyone can attest that from 2005 to present, the country has stepped up significantly, “We want to maintain that to show the world that Guyana is taking disaster risk reduction seriously…we do not only do preparedness work but we also continue to include it in developmental works,” Major Craig said.

Expanding the point on developmental works, Craig added that an important concept to understand is that investments are made in risk reduction activities, when a disaster occurs, less monies will be spent on response.

“There is a need to invest in reduction activities such as drainage, sea defence… the Conservancy Adaptation project and the Hope Canal project are investments in developmental activities and we are to continue in that light.”

Meanwhile commenting on the training of Region Four personnel in Shelter Management, Craig indicated that the CDC is very happy with the number of persons who turned out to participate in the activity.

“It shows very clearly that people are taking disaster management and disaster risk management seriously in the country,” Major Craig said.

He explained that Shelter Management is critical  in any disaster operation.

“Whenever there is flooding, people are displaced…you need to establish a shelter and you need to understand the whole concept of management of a shelter…once the participants are able to understand the concepts and be able to apply it in a real time operation, the conflicts and challenges that you will have at a shelter will be significantly reduced,” Major Craig explained.

The simulated Shelter

As part of the training in shelter management, a practical shelter was established and participants played varying roles and responsibilities.

“They were walked through the steps so that they would have an experience before they go into a real life situation…whilst CDC is very happy with the participation, the same is hoped for with the other training activities planned for Region Four and other regions.”

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