|Project||POST TSUNAMI PROJECT – COMMUNITY BASED DISASTER MANAGEMENT (CBDRM)|
|Project Partners||The programme was supported by the island office, Maldives police service and local health center.|
|Locations||Haa Alifu and Haa Dhaalu|
OFTEN DESCRIBED AS THE IDEAL TROPICAL HOLIDAY DESTINATION BECAUSE OF ITS AMAZING BEAUTY AND MORE THAN A THOUSAND ISLANDS, THE PICTURE-PERFECT ISLAND NATION OF THE MALDIVES IS OFTEN STRUCK BY CALAMITY IN THE FORM OF STORMS, DROUGHT, HEAVY RAINS AND STORM SURGES CAUSED BY CYCLONES IN THE SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN. THE NORTHERN ATOLLS OF THE ISLAND FACE A GREATER RISK OF DAMAGE FROM CYCLONIC WINDS WHILE THE SOUTH OF THE ISLAND IS VULNERABLE TO EARTHQUAKES. THE DECEMBER 26, 2004 INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI REAKED HAVOC ON THE ISLANDS AND CAUSED MORE THAN 80 DEATHS. THIRTY PERCENT OF THE NATION’S POPULATION OF 300,000 WERE DISPLACED WHILE 25 PER CENT OF THE 200 INHABITED ISLANDS WERE SEVERELY DAMAGED WITH 10 PER CENT OF THE COUNTRY’S ISLANDS COMPLETELY DESTROYED. FOURTEEN ISLANDS WERE EVACUATED AND TOTAL LOSSES WERE ESTIMATED AT US$472 MILLION, EQUATING TO 62% OF THE COUNTRY’S GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP).
POST TSUNAMI PROJECT – COMMUNITY BASED
DISASTER MANAGEMENT (CBDRM)
With funds from the Ministry of Finance, MERCY Malaysia has implemented a Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) programme in support of the Maldives’ government’s efforts to improve disaster preparedness in the island-nation. The project is aimed at engaging target communities in the development of Island Disaster Management Plans.
The Maldives CBDRM Programme was developed in 2008 in consultation with the National Disaster Management Centre in the Maldives. MERCY Malaysia and Care Society, a Maldives-based NGO, signed Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) agreeing to jointly implement the project.
During the two-year project, Island Disaster Management Plans will be developed with the community on four islands in the Haa Alifu and Haa Dhaalu atolls, the two northern atolls of the Maldives 15,500 people on the four islands.
In the course of developing the Plan, each community was asked to identify the hazards and vulnerabilities confronting their community and develop solutions to reduce disaster risk, which would make their island safer. In addition, a Disaster Management Committee on each island was created and task forces formed to conduct response activities in the event of a disaster. MERCY Malaysia, along with its implementing partner in the Maldives, Care Society, will work with the communities to develop a three-month community-based disaster risk reduction project, implementing one of the solutions previously identified by the community to make their island safer in their Island Disaster Management Plan.
The first phase of the project has been implemented in the two target islands in Haa Alifu atoll. The project will be completed by April 2010.
SCHOOL SAFETY INITIATIVES
MERCY Malaysia & Care Society jointly conducted a School Safety Programme in the Maldives between July and October 2008 with technical support from SEEDS India. The programme was aimed at improving building standards in existing schools while also ensuring that the surrounding community was prepared for natural disasters and emergencies.
The programme included a sensitisation workshop for teachers on disaster preparedness and a school-wide drill where teachers and students learnt and practiced skills on fire safety, rescue, evacuation and first aid.
The programme was piloted at the Kaafu Kaashidoo school and later implemented at four additional schools, namely Haa Alifu Ihavandhoo School, Raa.Ungoofaru School, Laamu Fonadhoo School and Gaafu Alifu Villingili School. The programme was supported by the island office, Maldives police service and local health center.