India, 2018 – Throughout 2018, villages in the coastal region in southern Gujarat have been a part of Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) India’s Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction Programs (CBDRR).1 Over the course of the year, AKAH India has conducted Disaster Awareness Programs (DAP), formed Village Disaster Committee in each village, trained Community Emergency Response Team in each village, and conducted community-led Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Assessments (HVRA).
Alinawaz Nanjee, AKAH India’s CBDRR leader, notes that he was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic participation of the villagers in both HVRA mapping exercise and CERT training. In September, Disaster Awareness Programs were conducted in government schools which were proven to be successful. Alinawaz Nanjee says, “The students participated enthusiastically and are planning to hold a rally in each village to make the community around the school more aware of disaster preparedness. They were happy to have an activity that taught them something practically valuable outside the school curriculum.”
Local government in Amrapur, Bhalchel, and Vipur villages are now looking to approve disaster management plans which will continue to help prepare their communities for disasters.
1 Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) was established in 2016. AKAH brings together resources of different AKDN agencies including FOCUS, the entity that helps mitigate risk and impact from natural disasters. FOCUS continues to provide financial support for AKAH’s efforts in responding to natural disasters.