Raising knowledge for safe lifeOct 13, 2015
13th October is the date designated to commemorate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDRR). Many countries celebrate this day through mass walkouts united by one common purpose – striving to emphasize the significance of hazard reduction of disasters and their effects.
“Traditional and indigenous knowledge is the indispensable information base for many societies seeking to live in harmony with nature and adapt to disruptive weather events, a warming globe and rising seas,” pointed out the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, in his speech on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction 2015.
As one of the most seismic active regions in the Central Asia, Uzbekistan is struck by earthquakes in the eight to ten point range. In 2007, the Global Fund for Disaster Reduction and Recovery ranked Uzbekistan in 24th place among the countries with the highest natural disaster risk. It was identified that 9.3% of the total area of Uzbekistan is exposed to man-made and natural disasters. It should be noted that 65.6% of the total population of the country lives in those regions.
UN Development Programme in Uzbekistan is actively assisting the Government of Uzbekistan in addressing the issues of population protection in emergency situations and in reducing the disaster risks. For the duration of several days, the Ministry of Emergency Situations jointly with UNDP in Uzbekistan and other agencies held events aimed at raising awareness in different regions of the country on the occasion of celebrating the IDDR.
On October 19th under the auspices of UNICEF in Uzbekistan teachers, students, representatives of the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan, local authorities and officers of the Department of Emergency Situations (DES) of Tashkent took part in the practical seminar that helped them in getting additional knowledge on how to behave even during an earthquake.
The excursion to the Simulation complex of earthquakes, organized for the representatives of all UN agencies in Uzbekistan contributed to raising the level of preparedness to possible disaster risks, in particular to earthquakes to share the knowledge and skills among the population in future.
Another practical seminar, held in Akhangaran with participation of more than 900 representatives of local schools’ management, teachers, mahalla elders, students, subject matter experts and representatives of DES of Tashkent Region evolved around the preparation of population to actions during emergency situations. The event was held within the DIPECHO VIII project, financed by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) in order to raise their awareness of the rules of behavior before, during and after such natural disasters as landslides, mudflows and avalanches. The project is aimed on protection of the Population of the Republic of Uzbekistan from landslides, mudflows and avalanches by establishing a system to monitor natural hazards at the ‘Kamchik’ mountain bypass and preparation of population to actions during the listed emergency situations.
Increasing knowledge of population of vitally important issues is also one of the priority activities of UNDP in Uzbekistan in close cooperation with MES. So, for the period from October 13 to October 31, 2015, documentary and animated films have been widely demonstrated across underground stations. Additionally, a mobile app designed within the cooperation in this area, involving the stations of the Tashkent Metro, has been presented. In this context, the events coinciding with celebration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction served to support building a safe and disaster-resilient community in Uzbekistan.