by: Amber Masud
REGIONAL UPDATE: The E-discussion on GLOF Risk Mitigation has been initiated and hosted on DRM Asia Community of Practice and is being concurrently run on national networks like Solution Exchange DRM India and Bhutan, Disaster Preparedness Network (DP-Net), Nepal and Pamirtimes in Pakistan. Bi-weekly summary of responses and updates are being shared on international networks like CPR Net, Energy & Environment Net, DIPECHO-ICIMOD network. The e-discussion is being accessed by more than three thousand participants through the various communities of practice and knowledge networks. The two themes under the ongoing e-discussion are;
1. Key issues, challenges and approaches towards GLOF risk mitigation
2. Community approaches for responding to, mitigating and preparing for GLOFs, EWS and land-use planning practices for GLOF risk mitigation.
Among the various strings of discussions that have been dealt with under the above themes, some of the important ones, are on better understanding of probability of occurrence of GLOFs, hazards posed by them, mitigation strategies adopted by the scientific community, ‘non-structural’ or sociological approaches adopted to mitigate GLOF risks, feasibility and sustainability of approaches at the community level, early warning systems and mainstreaming of GLOF risks in developmental planning in downstream valleys.
The e-discussion is being moderated by a group of experienced professionals (Dr. G.K. Bhat, Senior Scientist, TARU, Dr. Krishna Vatsa, Regional Disaster Reduction Advisor, BCPR and Rajeev Issar) with expertise in disaster risk reduction, climate change and hazard mitigation.
Those who, are as yet not a part of, and, are interested in joining the e-discussion, the second part (GLOF Risk Reduction- Role of Community and Early Warning Systems) of which is ongoing, could do so by joining DRM Asia by sending a mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The visibility and education materials under the GLOF initiative; posters, brochures, caps, t-shirts, mugs, pens etc have been sent across the region, to the project areas in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan to be distributed in the communities.
Pilot activities were carried out in Gojal for communities of Passu, Ghulkin and Hussaini. The activities carried out were also proposed as a result of the Baseline Assessment Study Report and during the district and national stakeholder’s consultation workshops. The pilot activities were planned and carried out with WWF-Pakistan Northern Areas Office.
An assessment on Community Based Disaster Preparedness was carried out by WWF-Pakistan before the commencement of activities.
The activities included a 5-day long training course on Disaster Risk Reduction and a weeklong awareness raising programme in schools of the Passu, Ghulkin and Hussaini villages. The training course which commenced on the 18th and ended on the 23rd of November aimed at enhancing disaster resilience of the GLOF prone communities through awareness raising and skill development in basic search and rescue methods and first aid tools. The training course also focused on awareness rising of local communities on disaster risks and their management, and to assess the impact of past GLOF events on lives, livelihoods and infrastructure.
Around 50 participants representing village emergency response teams (VERTs), CBOs and LSOs of Ghulkin, Hussaini and Passu participated in the training sessions (50% of which were Women). Village level disaster planning exercise was also carried out during the training for all three villages. Village elders, religious council members and local administration personal were involved during this particular planning session. Awareness raising and visibility material (Brochures, Mugs and Gerry cans) was distributed along with the certificates. Search and Rescue and First Aid Tool kits will also be distributed.
As a part of the awareness raising in schools an art competition was also held in schools on GLOFs and mountain disasters.
A drama (in two local languages) on GLOF hazards and importance of Disaster Risk Reduction was prepared and recorded for Radio Pakistan – Northern Areas. It will be aired during 2nd and 3rd weeks of December in the Northern Areas.
Theater version of the drama is also being prepared in Urdu.