Events on disaster reduction were held in Uzbekistan

Oct 31, 2016

To celebrate an International Day for Disaster Reduction a number of global initiatives have been held during these days all over the world. Every year, on October the 13th, this global event is reflected in the nationwide activities on raising awareness about the required actions to reduce disaster risk, which are also held in our country. This year, the target audience includes both the specialists in health and safety, research of natural hazards and their impacts, representatives of ministries and agencies, and also those to whom the knowledge of basic norms and behavioural rules (Dos and Don'ts) will help to avoid different injuries and losses among families and friends.

Thus, throughout three days, from 18 to 20 October, Red Crescent Society of Uzbekistan jointly with UNDP in Uzbekistan with financial support of DIPECHO IX of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations had organized training sessions for teachers of four pilot schools of Tashkent city. A non-fiction film, several presentations with detailed description of the nature of earthquakes, aftermath of mudflows and landslides, Dos and Don'ts before, during and after emergencies have been demonstrated during the sessions. Teachers have been recalled about the importance of instilling the first aid skills to injured persons, necessity of transfer of the knowledge on actions in non-standard situations to school kids during the lessons on health and safety basics, on measures required to create an earthquake-resistant environment in schools and many other things.

In parallel, the joint project of MES and UNDP in Uzbekistan “Strengthening Disaster Risk Management Capacities in Uzbekistan” has initiated a special visit to the Earthquake Simulation Centre at the Institute of Civil Protection of MES of Uzbekistan for 7-9th form students of secondary general schools of Okhangaron, Tashkent region, and Yunusabad district of Tashkent city, as well as for 3rd year students of the Mirzo- Ulugbek professional transport college in Tashkent. Children learned about the 1966 Tashkent Earthquake, became aware of the exposition with models of destroyed buildings reconstructed on the basis of photographs of that time and the history of this natural phenomenon study.

“We were strongly impressed with what we saw. We’ve been told and shown the required actions to take during an earthquake. Certainly, we have learnt most of these skills at school, but, here, all conditions are in place to understand the importance of compliance with basic Dos and Don’ts during an earthquake. Moreover, we have learnt how and what materials are used to build earthquake-resistant houses”, said 9th form student of the secondary school No.52 of the Okhangaron district, Jamshid Mutaliev.

Guests learned the Dos and Don’ts during the first earthquake shocks after having experienced the simulator in action. Not all of them have risked to enter the improvised living room, which is able to create the full effect of presence during an earthquake of various magnitude subject to a programme preset by an operator.

Another campaign, taken place these days on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, helped to identify the level of population knowledge of basic Dos and Don’ts during the emergencies. From 13 to October 20, 2016, all those interested were called upon to take part in the contest on the MES website. In total, 3,645 people took part in the republic-wide contest. 15 finalists have been randomly drawn from among correctly answered participants representing Tashkent city, Khorezm, Fergana, Navoiy and Surkhandarya regions. They all took an excursion to the Earthquake Simulation Centre and received the top prize – a tablet.

“I found out about the contest on the MES website from my friends. I answered to the offered questions and was invited to this wonderful centre. I worked in different organizations and attended trainings on preparation for emergencies, mainly in the form of lectures. And, today, I’ve got a great deal of impression as I experienced many things personally. Educational trainings of this kind are vitally important for everyone”, said the contest winner from Tashkent, Timur Usmanov.

Capacity building is a key focus area in working with population, especially for those people living in disaster risk prone areas. The initiatives held within the framework of the International Day for Disaster Reduction are aimed at assisting in eforrts of the Government of Uzbekistan in building safer and more disaster resilient community in the country.

*Based on the materials of the Joint Project of MES, UNDP in Uzbekistan, and DIPECHO IX of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations “Strengthening Disaster Risk Management Capacities in Uzbekistan”.

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