Sylhet is one of the most vulnerable areas of Bangladesh. It is a gradually developing urban area where the need to address urban risks needs to be emphasized. The goal of this urban DRR initiative taken up by Islamic Relief Bangladesh under the 6th DIPECHO Action Plan is to reduce the risk of disaster in the life of the urban population by increasing their awareness level and strengthening their capacity on effective emergency response.
Background and Objective
Sylhet is one of the most vulnerable areas of Bangladesh. It is a gradually developing urban area where the need to address urban risks needs to be emphasized. Due to its geographical location, the Sylhet City Corporation is situated in a seismic zone and is the most earthquake-prone area in the country. As there has not been any major earthquake over the last 110 years, the people in Sylhet are not aware of the threat posed by their location. It is a challenge to raise awareness across this urban community regarding the urban hazard of earthquakes. The community does not have the necessary skills and means to respond to an emergency in case of an earthquake or fire outbreak due to the lack of necessary training and awareness.
The goal of this urban DRR initiative taken up by Islamic Relief Bangladesh under the 6th DIPECHO Action Plan is to reduce the risk of disaster in the life of the urban population by increasing their awareness level and strengthening their capacity on effective emergency response.
Actions and Implementation
The resources used for implementing the initiative include:
The strength of the project has been the mobilization of community resources. Community based groups formed under the project (WDMC, CVG, SDMC) are raising their own contingency funds to implement self-led activities for community risk reduction and other social welfare activities.
Apart from raising awareness and capacity building interventions, IRB is also helping community based groups by providing them with first aid kits, search and rescue kits, fire extinguisher, IEC materials and others.
The project has been implemented an evolutionary approach where the lessons learned in the previous phases of the project have been taken into account and newer approaches have been adopted to increase the resilience level of the community to achieve the desired impact level.
The approach of institutionalizing DRR across the community has been accepted at the policy and governance level. Now Sylhet City Corporation has given recognition to WDMCs and CVGs, providing them full support.
The innovation is a worldwide practice because the first priority of the Hyogo Framework for Action highlights the significance of the institutionalization of DRR. Islamic Relief Bangladesh has been emphasizing this theme since the 3rd DIPECHO Action Plan and has strengthened the concept in each phase of the project. Now there are several other parties also benefiting from it. For example, Oxfam-GB, who are also implementing their project in Sylhet through local partner VARD, are now following the same pattern and adopting the concept of DRR institutionalization.
Resources devoted to delivery
Source of practice http://www.guangzhouaward.org/a/690.html?lang=en