Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness activities in 2019
In preparation for the South-West monsoon season, the network carried out an awareness campaign in May, including a partnership with the media, civil-military simulation exercises, and business continuity and community resilience workshops. The network convened a training of trainers on the Resilience in a Box toolkit, targeting micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
CBi Sri Lanka Member Network lead, A-PAD Sri Lanka, worked on national guidelines for business continuity, a basic curriculum for Search and Rescue operations, Guidelines for Conduct of Examinations In Emergencies, and Guidelines and Operations Plan for Election Emergencies. They also provided private sector inputs to the National Disaster Management Plan.
A-PAD Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Disaster Management Centre and Sirasa Gammadda conducted several community flood awareness programs in the districts of Galle, Matara, Kalutara and Ratnapura in early 2019 ensuring that the communities were educated on being prepared for the floods and also taught the basics of saving their lives and the lives of others at risk.
A-PAD SL, in partnership with the Sri Lanka Navy with key sponsorship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan and the People of Japan carried out an internationally recognized training in flood response from 16th to 23rd January. The intend is to deploy professionally trained teams both locally and in the Asia Pacific Region in Search and Rescue operations.
A-PAD Sri Lanka in partnership with Sri Lanka Life Saving organized “Uitemate Water Safety Training” Program to youth in Kuchchaveli that covered topics such as impacts of disasters, first aid and water safety.
The ZERO DEATH street campaign that started in 2018 in partnership with Sirasa Gammadda and A-PAD Sri Lanka was continued in 2019. A total of 12 workshops were held in May in the Administrative Districts of Kalutara, Matara, Galle and Ratnapura to approximately 5000 families. Participants were educated on important emergency numbers such as the DMC Hotline - 117. A public sticker campaign for community awareness of the this hotline was also carried out in each of these districts which also included a vehicle and house-to-house distribution of stickers to spread the word on the importance of ensuring this knowledge was known to as many in the community as possible.
The network also announced a new partnership with AirBnb corporate philanthropy Open Homes to link search and rescue teams with Airbnb hosts.
Disaster Response and Recovery in 2019
In 2019, the Network responded to two disasters (flooding and a terrorist attack).
APAD SL helped after the Easter Sunday attacks in April by providing food and non-food items via a supermarket outlet when other partners did not have access or were otherwise unable to provide immediate support. Identifying gaps in response, a tri-partnership was formed between HSBC, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement and A-PAD Sri Lanka to provide long term assistance to the affected communities of Colombo, Batticaloa and Negombo. This project aims to provide medical assistance and non-food assistance, revive education, and introduce community/school safety programs inclusive of psychosocial support, community clinics (optical/hearing), special nutritional assistance for children below the age of 5, educational scholarships, livelihood support and special assistance to overcome special medical conditions.
Photo: Dennis Sylvester Hurd