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Reducing risk and preparing communities for disasters in South and Central Asia

Working with local governments and communities, AKAH implements a wide range of disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes across Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Syria, and Tajikistan. DRR programmes include hazard, risk and vulnerability assessments; disaster preparedness education; emergency response and search and rescue training; and structural mitigation projects for all levels of community and institutional structures, such as building flood retaining walls, riverbank and slope stabilization, reinforcing bridges and roads, avalanche protection measures, and constructing debris flow channels.

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

By investing in the training of local community-based professionals and volunteers, AKAH is able to increase local capacity, particularly in remote high mountain areas. Through its DRR programmes, AKAH empowers vulnerable communities to respond to emergencies immediately and without relying solely on external humanitarian aid. Trained community volunteers are the first responders in the event of a disaster, capitalising on their local knowledge of the terrain, language and culture.

Emergency Management teams have conducted hazard, vulnerability and risk assessments for nearly 2,500 villages and supported communities to develop village disaster management plans based on these assessments.  They also work to improve preparedness through weather monitoring posts and Early Warning Systems (EWS) monitoring avalanche, mudslide and flood risks.  AKAH maintains a network of over 30,000 active volunteers for disaster response and management, providing them regular training on emergency response, first aid and search and rescue.