Volunteer disaster response teams were established in South Kazakhstan
Local Disaster Management Committees (LDMC) were established in Tekeli town, Syrymbet and Karabulak villages within the framework of the joint project of UNDP/EC/MoES of the Republic of Kazakhstan: «DIPECHO VII: Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction in South-East and East Kazakhstan».
These committees represent teams of volunteers whose main goal is to inform local population about existing disaster risks and methods of their reduction, and to provide support to the governmental agencies in preparedness for and response to potential disasters at local level.
This spring the members of these committees – the activists of target communities in Tekeli town, Syrymbet and Karabulak villages – passed the Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction/First Aid training. Representatives of the project staff from the headquarters of Kazakhstan Red Crescent Society as well as from its East Kazakhstan Oblast and Semey Territorial Branch Offices participated as facilitators of the trainings.
The main goal of this training was to provide skills in the area of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster response to the LDMC members. During this training the following topics were reviewed: definitions and terms related to disasters, threats and risks in the region, characteristic features of the sustainable communities, DRR process and results, main methods of assessment of vulnerability and capacity, preparation of the community’s preparedness plan, early warning systems, evacuation, principles of mutual help in communities, and the principles of first aid rendering.
The major part of the seminar was in the form of practical work (brainstorming and group discussions) during which the participants concentrated on the following tasks:
• Identified the main threats and risks in their region;
• Identified the information sources for risk assessments in their communities;
• Prepared the disasters seasonal calendars;
• Prepared the questionnaires for risk assessments in their communities;
• Based on real data prepared general information on their communities in respect of assessment of vulnerability and capacity, and determined measures to reduce the disaster risks;
• Got acquainted with the rules of gathering a «disaster supplies kit»;
• Studied the first aid basics.
One facilitator was allocated for each LDMC during practical and group work. All LDMC members were very active during practical work. All participants were given necessary handouts.
It should be noted that upon the results of the seminar the LDMC members are ready for further work, and all their practical skills and initiatives can be used as a base for future projects in this area.
As a next step of supporting the LDMC, the project purchased equipment for each team which is necessary for potential disaster response, and which was given to the team leaders responsible for storage and use. The list of equipment includes: shovels, helmets, torches, megaphones, stretchers, uniform and first aid kits.
The Project “UNDP/EC/MoES RK “DIPECHO VII: Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction in South-East and East Kazakhstan” is funded by the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Commission (ECHO), UNDP in Kazakhstan and the Red Crescent Society of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The project implements activities on disaster risk reduction on national and oblast levels, with practical work being carried out in the communities of Tekeli in Almaty oblast, in flood-prone communities close to Semey and in remote mountain communities close to Ust-Kamenogorsk. One of the important directions of the project activities is to raise community awareness of the importance of disaster preparedness and risk reduction activities.