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Training program on "Community Based Approaches to Flood Management"
25-27 October 2017, SAARC Disaster Management Center (IU), Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

Since ancient time rivers have been the lifeline of south Asian civilizations. The culture, economy, livelihood of the people of South Asia is determined by river systems from the very early age of the history. They have been supporting irrigation, transport, and livelihood opportunities to the communities. South Asian Region comprises of the world’s biggest river catchment areas namely the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Godavari, the Narmada, the Kaveri, the Koshi and many more have let to high degree of vulnerability of floods and river erosion. The lack of interdisciplinary approach for River Management and Flood Plain Conservation results in higher degree of eco- environmental losses. Further, highly alarming and adverse effects of Climate change add a new dimension to the hydrological cycle resulting in frequent changes of rainfall intensity as well as frequency.

Perception of risks due to flooding among communities and within a community differs considerably. The new settlers/migrants or refugees in a flood plain may not be aware of the causes, frequency and likely magnitude of flooding in a given area and are vulnerable due to lack of knowledge. One of the biggest impacts of floods on the poor is on their livelihoods. Flooding affects economic and social infrastructure, industrial activities and other business activities. If equipped with an organizational structure and improved capability (through proper training), individually and collectively, the local people can manage floods better, with damages and losses substantially reduced even during major floods.

While national, provincial and local authorities have important roles to play in disaster risk management, it is the active participation and involvement of communities at the grassroots that would make the real difference. Inadequate community preparedness has turned even a relatively minor hazard into major disaster while enhanced community awareness and preparedness have been able to prevent major hazards becoming mega disasters.

Recently, thousands of people have died and millions have been affected by monsoon floods in Nepal, Bangladesh and India in 2017 which shows a lot needs to be done to prevent avoidable loss of life and injuries. The SDMC (IU) is determined to develop disaster resilient communities that have enhanced coping capacities in relation to all hazards through strengthening of community institutional mechanisms and empowering communities at risk, particularly women, the poor and the disadvantaged. SAARC Member States are committed to empower the communities, enhance their capacities, involve them in every phases of Disaster Management and integrate community structures and processes with local self- government institutions (SAARC Roadmaps).

The purpose of training programme is to provide platform for sharing of knowledge from various SAARC Member States and facilitate exchange of experiences amongst the professionals from the SAARC Member States to effectively help communities to be prepared for Floods and to achieve a solemn objective of making SAARC Region more disaster resilient.

Program Objectives

  1. To discuss the dynamics of flood risk in SAARC Region in a changing climate.
  2. To understand the extent of flood risk and vulnerability, and assess the capacity of the community in the SAARC Region
  3. Support SAARC Member States in promoting and strengthening the community lead Flood Management System to reduce vulnerabilities, build resilience to reduce risks, enhance response and recovery management.
  4. To provide platform for the professionals working in the related field to interact and share their knowledge to facilitate effective partnership between communities at risk and local government and integrate Community Based Flood Risk Management in the SAARC Member States.

Target Audience

Hydrologists/ Engineers/ Geomorphologists/ Environmentalists/ Geoscientists/ Geographers/ Sociologists/ Planners and Disaster Managers who are involved in Community based Flood Risk Management in SAARC Member States.

Course Duration

The Course duration is for three day with lecture and discussion session. The course will also include a field visit where the features related to Community based Flood Risk Management will be demonstrated.

Please find Program Schedule here

Please find photos of training program here

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