Developing Community Action Plan and Village Disaster and Climate Risk Management Plans (VDCRM)

This program aims to bolster households and communities disaster preparedness. Improved resilience should provide the communities with the edge to better withstand climate-related economic, social and natural shocks.

One of the lessons learned from the 2009 tsunami was that in the hours following a disaster, search and rescue, provision of immediate assistance to injured and homeless, is almost entirely carried out by family members, relatives, and neighbours. Communities were unprepared, due to an ineffective warning system and no prior planning. Escape routes in villages that were surrounded by steep cliffs were close to impossible. The extent of this tragedy underlined the need for greater community understanding of natural disaster events and community-level preparedness and planning. Top-down disaster risk reduction programmes and responses failed to address the specific vulnerabilities, needs and demands of at-risk communities. Engaging communities in direct consultation and dialogue is essential from the beginning of any program.

To prepare communities for disasters, ADRA delivered a Disaster Preparedness and Climate Risk Management Training Toolkit. The toolkit walks households through a process of understanding, planning and ultimately improving their adaptive capacity to disasters and long-term changes due to climate change. By enabling villages to identify their vulnerabilities, they are better able to understand them and identify locally suitable ways to respond to mitigate these risks using the resources available to them. More importantly, communities are organized and trained to respond themselves in times of disaster.

The training focuses on Disaster Risk Management (DRM), facilitation techniques, participatory approaches and project management. The toolkit includes a series of training modules focusing on such areas as situation analysis, prioritising and action planning, DRM structure and planning, training/resourcing response teams and simulation exercises and drills. From these training modules, villages formulate their Community Action Plans that lay out what needs to be done before, during and post episodal and long-term changes due to climate change.

All Village action plans, community action, and disaster management plans are compiled into the Village Community Disaster Reduction Management (VCDRM) Plan, overseen by the village elders. This plan is then reproduced and shared with partners, government ministries, and other initial first response agencies and shared into the national database.

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