JAMMU: Advisor to Governor, BB Vyas on Saturday said that preparedness is critical for tackling any natural disaster and we have to ensure that we take special measures for specific needs of children and women in the event of any humanitarian emergency, so that our approach is proactive rather than reactive.
He was speaking at the concluding function of 3-day state level consultation workshop which was organized by Jammu and Kashmir State Disaster Management Authority, in collaboration with Divisional Disaster management authority, NDMA and UNICEF on Child Centered Emergency Preparedness for Response.
The workshop was attended by Dr Muzaffar Ahmed, former member National Disaster Management Authority and various heads of departments, including Director Social Welfare, senior level officers, Addl Deputy Commissioners, Director School Education Jammu and Nodal Officers from Line Depts.
Vyas appreciated UNICEF for guiding the social sector line-departments to outline and refine their strategies and plans to respond to identified humanitarian emergencies affecting children and women. He appreciated the Disaster Management Professionals, who assisted the line departments in analyzing gaps in their capacities, procedures and coordination systems and identified systemic actions to establish minimum levels of multi-hazard preparedness.
He said that the workshop has not only identified these risks, but has also underlined specific activities to mitigate them, for which fixed timelines need to be mapped to each activity. He said that the consultation process has helped in mainstreaming child-centered disaster risk considerations in development planning in order to ensure continuity of services, during disasters, and has also helped the stakeholders to put in place concrete action plans for preparedness for response to make our systems and communities resilient to future disasters.
Vyas said steps are being initiated to put in place State Level Platforms for DRR, which will comprise of committee of experts and multi-stakeholders, including Government, International Humanitarian agencies like UNICEF, Academicians, Civil Society, NGOs etc. having a stake in DRR, for providing advocacy, coordination, analysis and giving advice on disaster risk reduction. He said that Government has taken several steps to minimize the adverse impacts of disasters on communities by strengthening their capacities to reduce risks and build resilience.
He reiterated that the slogan of the department is “Help people, to help themselves”. “Children, women and other vulnerable groups need special attention as they are more likely to get affected in the event of any disaster. Disasters disrupt education, health and other critical services,” he said.
Aamir Ali, Director Disaster Management & Dy CEO J&KSDMA said that the workshop enabled the participants to develop realistic plans of their departments, with focus on children and women. “These plans are useful for resource mobilization, at the times of emergencies,” he said.
He said that during the workshop the participants were guided regarding the concepts of understanding risks, hazards, shocks, stresses, exposure, impact, vulnerabilities, capacities, surge, coordination, pre-positioning of resources, budget provisioning, elements of preparedness for response and were guided to understand the process of prioritization, risk informed programming and child centered programming.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, appreciated UNICEF for organizing the programme which helped the line departments and districts to prepare their response plans. He hoped that UNICEF would provide a long-term support to the Government and conduct similar programmes in various parts of the state, including districts.
During the workshop, Sarbjit Singh Sahota, from UNICEF guided the participants to prepare response planning and prepare their sector wise response plans and he assured that a similar programme would be conducted in Leh, to cover the twin districts of Leh and Kargil. He guided the participants to put in-place Risk Informed Management Systems.
Xavier Thomas from UNICEF guided the participants to conduct the Risk Analysis of the state, with defined scenario situations.
The participants were guided in group activities, to do prioritization of various hazards, conduct gap analysis, identify key policy actions that are essential for meeting priority needs of women and children, and helped them to prepare their response plans.
Later, the certificates were distributed amongst the participants.