Orealla/Siparuta to be models for Community Based Disaster Risk Management

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Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) practising their newly-learnt skills of fire fighting
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from Orealla and Siparuta practising how to transport a casualty on a stretcher
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from Orealla and Siparuta practising how to transport a casualty on a stretcher

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) in pursuing their mandate to ensure vulnerable communities become resilient to disasters, conducted training sessions at Orealla and Siparuta earlier this month.

Major Kester Craig, Training and Operations Officer of the CDC indicated that work is currently ongoing in those communities, with the intention of making them model communities for Community Based Disaster Risk Management

Craig explained that training in community leadership and management is important, as it ensures the requisite knowledge and skills are in place to secure the sustainability of any project, and many community members lack capacity in these areas.

“We are hoping that we can partner with community based NGOs and the Ministry of Communities. Community based training helps to strengthen the local government arms at the community levels,” Craig said.

Anita Wilson, Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) Officer and Volunteer Coordinator of the CDC, in an invited comment, said that the program which is sponsored by United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF is being implemented by CDC, its Region Six Volunteers and UNICEF in a collaborative effort.      

“With the communities having established a committee of persons (one for each community) to lead the process, we are building the capacity of the team for disaster risk management and emergency response,” Wilson explained. 

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) practising their newly-learnt skills of fire fighting
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) practising their newly-learnt skills of fire fighting

Wilson added that the CERT training is aimed at having a team of persons identified who have the requisite knowledge and skills, and so can respond to emergencies which may occur within the community.

Additionally, the Community Leadership Training was done so as to establish Management teams that will be responsible for the implementation of the DRM’s plans for the community and which are being developed through the project.

“Community leadership was specifically done because a concern was raised by the residents that they have had many committees established. However, persons lack the leadership skills and qualities to continue the work after agencies pull out. The training was done to mitigate and prevent such an instance in this case,” Wilson said.

Orealla and Siparuta were selected because the CDC’s Development of the Regional DRM for Region Six had noted that these communities were highly vulnerable because of their distance and remoteness from the rest of the regional network.

In 2016, the Civil Defence Commission will be focusing on Community Based Disaster Risk Management plans in most vulnerable communities in Regions Four, Six and Nine. [Extracted and modified from GINA]

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