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  • Mountains of Tajikistan.
    AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer
Reducing risk and preparing communities for disasters in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan Republics of Central Asia

Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), Tajikistan, 12 February 2016 – Hazard Vulnerability and Risk Assessments (HVRAs) have been completed in 339 villages in GBAO and Naryn town, reaching approximately 400,000 individuals and 139 organisations, through the DIPECHO project “Fostering Disaster Resilient Communities in Isolated Mountain Environments”.

DIPECHO assessments identified hazards and educated villagers on escape routes and safe havens. The HVRAs have resulted in the identification and implementation of structural mitigation projects including the construction of a 45-metre debris flow-diverting wall that protected Visav village during a devastating mudflow in July 2015. In addition, the assessments have led to the development of Village Disaster Management Plans (VDMPs), and awareness and response trainings. Following a request from the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Kyrgyzstan (MoES KG), a short version of the HVRA report for Naryn was included in their annual publication.

Over the last twelve years through the DIPECHO project, Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) in Tajikistan and the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP) in Kyrgyzstan (both initiatives of the Aga Khan Development Network) have helped 465,416 people mitigate the impact of natural disasters in parts of the most hazard prone and remote areas of GBAO, Tajikistan and Naryn and Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

To enhance community preparedness levels, specifically with younger generations, DIPECHO established 29 School Disaster Management Teams (SDMTs). The teams are trained and equipped in GBAO and Naryn town of Kyrgyzstan, involving 455 students and 125 teachers. This initiative has not only increased the safety of those within the schools, but also families and neighbours through the dissemination of basic disaster risk reduction information by schoolchildren.

In 2015, as part of the project, avalanche preparedness trainings for 10 Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and 2 Search and Rescue Teams (SARTs) involving a total of 265 volunteers were conducted. The SART groups also participated in a 2-day Water Rescue training.

Following an Agreement of Cooperation last year between FOCUS and the Firefighting Division of GBAO, SART training was provided to representatives of the regional Firefighting Division in GBAO to help broaden and strengthen their response skills. FOCUS also supplied the division with modern response equipment totaling 19,000 EUR. Similarly, the Fire Department in Naryn town also received IT equipment and firefighting facilities and will train the established School Disaster Preparedness Committees (SDPC).

The eighth phase of the project has been successfully completed, which stems from an agreement between the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) under the auspices of its Disaster Preparedness Program (DIPECHO) and Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) United Kingdom. The ninth phase of the project is due to commence in February 2016.

FOCUS, MSDSP and AKF through the DIPECHO project reduces risk, develops sustainable solutions and promotes widespread systemic changes in risk reduction policy making at the local and national levels in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Strengthening the capacity of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and educational institutions increases the ability to assess and prepare for natural hazards and to respond more effectively to emergencies.

NOTES

The European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is one of the biggest donors for humanitarian aid worldwide. With its funding nearly 20 million victims of natural or man - made disasters are helped each year in about 70 countries. The aid is distributed through 200 partner organisations (Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, specialised UN agencies, and European NGOs) impartially to those who need it most. For further information, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) is an international disaster management and emergency response agency providing relief and support services during natural and man-made disasters, primarily in the developing world. It is established in Europe, North America, Central and South Asia and helps people in need reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid. Additionally, it facilitates community transition to sustainable, self-reliant, long-term development. FOCUS is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve opportunities and living conditions for people of all faiths and origins in specific regions of the developing world. For further information, please visit Humanitarian assistance page on AKDN website.

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network, was established in 1967 by His Highness the Aga Khan to develop and promote creative solutions to problems that impede social development, primarily in Asia and East Africa. Created as a private, non-profit foundation under Swiss law, it has branches and independent affiliates in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Kenya, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, Pakistan, Portugal, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Its office in the United Kingdom has supported 20 partnerships worth £6 million with ECHO covering actions in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Tajikistan. For further information please visit: http://www.akf.org.uk/

The Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, Kyrgyz Republic (MSDSP KG) is a locally registered public foundation initiated by the Aga Khan Foundation in 2003. It employs a development approach where interventions in education, health, income generation, and natural resource management converge in villages and are implemented in collaboration with community-based groups. It is currently active in Kyrgyzstan’s Osh and Naryn provinces. For more information, please refer to: http://www.akdn.org

For further information, please contact:

Idris Jonmamadov
Project Manager for DIPECHO VIII
Focus Humanitarian Assistance
Email: idris.jonmamadov@fociushumanitarian.org
Mobile: +992 593 13 31
Web site: http://www.akdn.org/focus