Strengthening the administrative capacity for disaster risk management in Badakhshan

Project description

Title: Strengthening the administrative capacity for disaster risk management in Badakhshan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Afghanistan
Lead executing agency: Governor of the Province of Badakhshan
Overall term: 2010 to 2013

Afghanistan. First-aid exercise, Robotak Village. © GIZ

Context

Extreme natural events are threatening the living conditions of the population of northern Afghanistan. In the province of Badakhshan, which is especially vulnerable to disasters, many houses and areas of arable land are affected by landslides, mudslides and floods each year. There are also earthquakes, which the clay houses often do not withstand. The people lack the capacity to help themselves and external, government aid only reaches those in need days or weeks after a disaster, if indeed it reaches them at all. The government’s capacity for disaster management is mostly limited to addressing regular damage, for instance providing immediate humanitarian support and reconstructing infrastructure. The funds, expertise and strong institutions needed for disaster preparedness simply do not exist.

Objective

Governmental and non-governmental actors at the province and district levels, together with civil society groups in the communities are implementing effective measures to reduce the risk of disaster, which have been subject to consultation at the national level.

Approach

In the communities, in districts and at the province level, working groups and committees are being formed to organise effective preparation for disasters on an increasingly independent basis and are supporting one another. As part of the project and together with the local populations in selected communities, risk analyses are being drawn up, maps of particularly vulnerable areas are being created and initial training measures are being carried out. The Afghan National Disaster Management Authority is also involved. It is responsible for encouraging the various levels of authorities to cooperate in efforts to prevent and overcome disasters and for creating close links with the work being done by the communities.

It should therefore be possible to mobilise aid promptly in the event of an emergency, and to request targeted support from the authorities and the committee led by the Governor of the Province.

The communities are being provided with simple rescue equipment, first-aid supplies and emergency materials, such as tents. Disaster simulations are designed to consolidate the procedures and the seamless interaction between the actors at the local level and the district and province authorities. This project should help the communities in becoming less vulnerable to loss and damage, to the extent that the Province of Badakhshan, despite frequent natural disasters, may enjoy sustained development.

A particular feature of the project is that women are being involved in all the disaster preparation measures.

Afghanistan. GIZ staff and local people measuring and taking samples at a landslide. © GIZ

Results achieved so far

In April 2012 disaster preparation and protection measures for around 16,500 people were implemented. Emergency teams have been established in 17 selected communities; these are also in a position to help nearby communities. Alongside male teams, female teams have also been established. The teams have been trained in participatory risk analysis, search and rescue techniques, emergency medical care and earthquake-resistant construction using local materials. Furthermore, emergency simulations involving several villages have been carried out. The project has delivered training opportunities, including study visits to Tajikistan and India, during which the participants learned about Tajik and Indian organisations and their disaster preparation measures.