Asia / Pacific
Photo: Ghufrana Shar
Umerkot, Sindh, Pakistan
Pakistan Mobile Knowledge Resource Center
Floods in recent years have damaged large swaths of land throughout flood-prone Pakistan, a country that faces many other humanitarian and political challenges. Yet in small but important ways, CWS is making a difference. At least 380 people, living in communities with more than 2,000 others, have benefitted from disaster risk reduction trainings at community centers and schools in the community of Umerkot in Sindh, Pakistan. This has been done with the help of a mobile resource center that makes the rounds in local settings.
The training is useful, in that it helps disseminate knowledge on ways to deal with disasters so that risk can be reduced. It provides people with practical knowledge and skills to prepare for future disasters. It sensitizes school children and communities to the ways those living in their area are vulnerable to risks, but also to the ways local capacities already exist to deal with risks. This is done by conducting a hazard vulnerability and capacity assessment exercise.
Five disaster management committees were formed and briefed about their role and responsibilities before, during and after a disaster. An equal number of disaster management groups were formed and assigned roles and responsibilities to take the lead in activities. And five villages put together disaster preparedness plans.
An undergirding principle of these activities has been to pay special attention to gender equality. Nearly half of those participating and taking the lead in community activities have been women. It is often the case in Pakistan that women, as well as children and marginalized groups, are ignored during project design and implementation. CWS does its best to ensure that women and other marginalized groups have a voice.