Engaging the Community in Disaster Risk Reduction(Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change) by Rosa T. Perez PAGASA/DOST
Philippines & Natural Disaster Risks • The crucial relationships that exist between natural disaster risks, the environment and their combined impacts on human societies are particularly evident • People are highly dependent on the natural environment, and historical records testify to the devastating effects that natural disasters cause in the region • There is growing concern about the potential for increasingly frequent and more severe meteorological and hydrological hazards resulting from climate change, and how they may affect the country
Philippines: Typhoon Marce (Aere) Detailed Locations Philippines - Luzon - Provinces: Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Benguet, Rizal, La Union, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Ifugao. Cities: Metro Manila area. San Mateo. Quezon City, Hermosa, Dinalupihan, Olongapo City, San Fernando, Paniqui, Urdaneta City, Candaba, Arayat, Santo Tomas, Calumpit. Camanava area. Rivers Philippines - Agno, Pampanga, Kalaklan, Camiling, Chico, Tarlac, Sinocalan Began 24-Aug-04 Ended 12-Sep-04 Duration (days) 20 Dead 67 Displaced 1,058,849 Damage (USD) $ 23,500,000 Main/ Secondary cause Tropical cyclone/Monson rain Affected Region ( sq km) 38,800 Flood Magnitude** 11.8 Notes and Comments Philippines - Typhoons Aere and Chaba are partial cause of heavy rains that triggered landslides and flooding in Manila area. 43 deaths. 1,058,849 people evacuated. 96,000 hectares rice flooded in Tarlac. Dike breach at Culibangbang in Tarlac. Worst floods in 5 years in San Fernando. Pampanga "one of the worst disasters that have occurred in the province in a long time"
Public transport jeepneys sit stranded on a flooded road in Manila August 25, 2004. The worst flooding to hit the northern Philippines in three decades has killed 43 people and caused more than $20 million in damage,
A Philippine Air Force helicopter hovers over a house submerged by floodwaters in Paniqui Tarlac in northern Philippines August 27, 2004. An aerial view shows parts of Paniqui town (bottom). Nearly 1,000 villages in a vast plain of rice fields and fish ponds, once the rice bowl of the Philippines, had been under chest-deep water for almost a week, affecting more than 1.6 million people.
People attending a religious service inside a flooded church in Lubao, Pampanga in the northern Philippines August 28, 2004. • A woman sits outside her house submerged in floodwaters in a village in Bulacan province in the northern Philippines August 30, 2004.
A father carries his son on his shoulder as they wade through floodwaters in a village in Bulacan province in the northern Philippines August 30, 2004. A villager tends his roosters in a flooded village in Bulacan province in the northern Philippines August 30, 2004.
Monsoon rains trigger floods, landslides - Carranglan, Nueva Ecija hundreds of commuters were stranded.
Mainstreaming Adaptation Through Disaster Risk Reduction “While we cannot do away with natural hazards, we can eliminate those we cause, minimize those we exacerbate, and reduce our vulnerability to most. Doing this requires healthy and resilient communities and ecosystems. Viewed in this light, disaster mitigation is clearly part of a broader strategy of sustainable development-making communities and nations socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable.” - J. Abramovitz
Engaging the Community “Much has been learnt from the creative disaster prevention efforts of poor communities in developing countries. Prevention policy is too important to be left to governments and international agencies alone. To succeed, it must also engage civil society, the private sector and the media.” Kofi Annan, IDNDR Programme forum, Geneva, July 1999
Community The definition of community in this context refers to a social group, which has a number of things in common, such as shared experience, locality, culture, heritage
Risk reduction measures • Most successful when they involve the direct participation of the people most likely to be exposed to hazards, in the planning, decision-making, and operational activities at all levels of responsibility • Local leaders, drawn from political, social and economic sectors of society need to assume a primary responsibility for the protection of their own community.
Risk reduction measures • The involvement of local residents in protecting their own resources is possible and can work – if sufficient attention and investment is devoted to the subject.
The essential role of community action • Disaster reduction is most effective at the community level where specific local needs can be met. • When used alone, government and institutional interventions often prove to be insufficient and frequently are seen to be sporadic and only responding to crises. • A top=down approach is inclined to ignore local perceptions and needs and the potential value of local resources and capacities in the process.
The essential role of community action • As a result, it is not surprising that emergency relief assistance far exceeds resources invested to develop local disaster risk reduction capabilities • First, communities must be aware of the importance of disaster reduction for their own well-being. It then becomes necessary to identify and impart essential skills that can translate risk awareness into concrete practices of sustained risk management. • Such an approach needs to develop activities that can strengthen communities’ capacities to identify and cope with hazards, and more broadly to improve residents’ livelihoods
Case example: Community-based Flood risk management • PROJECT MANAGER / IMPLEMENTOR: Local Government Unit (LGU) • TECHNICAL ADVISER / ASSISTANT: Flood Forecasting Branch (FFB), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) / Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST) • TARGET BENEFICIARIES: People residing in the flood prone areas
Community-based Flood risk management • One aspect in the management of pre-flood disaster period at the local level, is the putting-up of a community-based flood forecasting and/or warning system • Hope to address flood forecasting/warning problems especially those coming from small and medium-sized rivers where flash flooding usually occurs
Community-based Flood risk management • Usually, the lead-time for preparedness is short, i.e. the river’s response time to rainfall is rather quick • A local flood forecasting and/or warning system is seen to empower the local people, promote self-help/reliance and encourage participation along with the use and enhancement of indigenous knowledge and capability to mitigate or prevent flood losses and damages.
Community-based Flood risk management • Develop indicators for forecasting and warning based on rainfall and water levels relationship of upstream and downstream gauging stations • Locals will be trained to develop flood hazard maps based on actual observations • Provide public information and education
Community-based Flood risk management The planning stage essentially dwells on • Who to include. • What techniques to use in order to obtain citizen input • What information need to be provided to citizens.
Some Insights Community leadership and relationships • Any system of local planning and protection must be integrated into larger administrative and resource capabilities such as provincial, state and national disaster plans and risk reduction strategies. It is equally important to realize that communities cannot implement community-based disaster mitigation alone. • Viable forms of community-based disaster reduction depend on a favorable political environment that understands, promotes and supports this participation process.
Some Insights Community leadership and relationships • A special effort is required to recall locally valued traditional coping mechanisms and strategies. • Modern concepts and technology can provide innovative approaches.
Challenges and Priorities • People have to understand and accept that they also have a responsibility towards their own survival – it is not simply a matter for governments to find and provide solutions. • Transfer of expertise at a local level, e.g. early warning systems and procedures suited to small-scale requirements. • Transfer of local experiences, and their thematic application within various communities have to be developed.
Challenges and Priorities • Better communication is required among authorities and managers, and among community leaders for this purpose. • Existing grass-roots and community-based organizations at community level, including women organizations, should be reinforced, for them to take action and participate on disaster risk reduction activities.