Disaster Management is a relatively new concept globally with it only being at the fore of international discussions following the destruction caused by The Boxing Day Tsunami (2004) and Hurricane Katrina (2005). It was following these events that the international community realised that more needed to be done, in order to enable coordinated and effective relief and response phases for future disasters.
Prior to 2004 Disaster Risk Reduction efforts lay with the UNISDR, with the first international conferences occurring in Yokohama, Japan (1994) and then Hyogo, Japan (2005), creating an outline of global expectations for Disaster: Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation. In March 2015, a third global conference was convened in Sendai and the main focus was on Disaster Risk Reduction Methods; prior to and following disasters – therefore employing both a proactive and reactive approach to all Disaster Management work. Henceforth, the current global agenda promotes grassroot level Disaster Preparedness Education and Community Engagement Activities in order to provide those most vulnerable to Disasters with appropirate resilient behaviours.
These are all areas that our Disaster Management Programme wishes to address, currently our project areas include: Community Disaster Risk Reduction, Emergency Planning/Preparedness, Hazard Mapping and Landslide/Earthquake/Flooding Mitigation. We would love to expand the programme further so new project areas are currently being developed. Fundamentally though, the aim of the programme is to ensure the communities we work with, are aware and appropriately educated on the potential risks (natural and human) that may impact their lives; in order that they can be pre-prepared and respond appropriately.
It is vital to raise the perception of such hazards and also to encourage and promote appropriate grassroots mitigation strategies; accessing all ages via targeted workshops and community activities. No matter how small, the difference that can be made through EduCARE’s future Disaster Management Projects is so important as a matter of saving lives and maintaining environmentally sustainable rural livelihoods.