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Disaster preparedness
A significant area of FOCUS’ work concentrates on community-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives. Efforts to increase awareness of disaster risks in communities living in both urban and rural areas aim to strengthen the local capabilities of populations to be better prepared and more resilient against the natural hazards prevalent in their respective regions.

FOCUS’ methodology on Disaster Risk Management, Preparedness and Response programmes:

Working with local governments and communities, FOCUS implements a wide range of disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes, particularly in South and Central Asia. DRR programmes include disaster preparedness education, specialist training and awareness initiatives, hazard assessments and small-scale mitigation projects for all levels of community and institutional structures, such as building flood retaining walls, reinforcing foot and vehicle bridges and creating irrigation channels.

In partnership with local communities, FOCUS has also relocated vulnerable buildings in regions of seismic risk - such as schools and health facilities - as well as built evacuation paths, safe havens and created stockpiles of vital supplies for use by local communities.

By investing in the training of local community based professionals and volunteers, FOCUS is able to increase local capacity, particularly in high mountain remote areas. Through its DRR programmes, FOCUS facilitates vulnerable communities in responding to emergencies immediately and without relying solely on humanitarian aid. This enables trained volunteers to be the first responders in the event of a disaster and importantly, capitalises on their local knowledge of the terrain, language and culture.

In high mountain areas of Badakhshan,Tajikistan, FOCUS works with local communities to build irrigation channels, pathways, and other structural mitigation projects to protect communities from the effects of avalanches, flooding, mud slides and rock falls.