Press release from Tajikistan
Preparing for Disasters starts with the community
(Tajikistan, 31/07/2013) Tajikistan is uniquely prone to natural disasters, both of seismic and non-seismic nature. The Rasht Valley is no exception and frequently experiences mud-flows, flooding, avalanches and land-slides, endangering peoples’ lives and destroying livelihoods.
With support from the European Union, Welthungerhilfe (Formerly German Agro Action) in cooperation with Mercy Corps implemented a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Project in three districts of the Rasht Valley, Nurobod, Tajikabod and Rasht.
The 15 month project with the title: “Community-based disaster risk management: Enhancing self-reliance through the better use of existing resources”, was financed through the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) within the framework of its Disaster Preparedness Program (DIPECHO), round VII.
The project had a Budget of 647,052 EURO and reached a total number of 24,138 beneficiaries.
Activities included the construction of physical mitigation measures, rehabilitation of food stores, training on clean water and hygiene after disasters, public awareness campaigns to inform about disaster risks, school “Child to Child” DRM activities as well as emergency simulation exercises that were implemented in close cooperation with the Committee of Emergency Situations (CoES) and the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan.
On 30th July 2013, Welthungerhilfe and Mercy Corps wrapped up the project by conducting an end of project stake-holder workshop in the district capital Garm. Major stakeholders, including representatives of the local district Governments, Jamoat leaders, and humanitarian organizations working in the Rasht Valley, actively participated in discussions during the workshop. Participants valued the open and participatory approach during project implementation that involved all stakeholders in identification of priorities. Challenges to tackle disaster risks are still ahead, but now after the project communities feel they are in a stronger position to manage them. During group working sessions participants voiced their priorities for possible follow up actions.
Both organizations, Welthungerhilfe and Mercy Corps have over 13 years of experience in the project area and implemented numerous projects all over Tajikistan and Central Asia.
The principal objective of this project was: “The resilience of households and communities in the Rasht Valley to better prepare for, cope with, and rebound from natural disasters is strengthened”.
A key message of the project was: “Preparing for Disasters starts with you”!