Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction & Mitigation
Myanmar (Burma), in Ayeyarwady Region
People in the Irrawaddy Delta region of southwest Myanmar are at continuous risk from multiple hazards, especially floods: routine, seasonal floods and occasional catastrophic ones. At the other end of the natural disaster spectrum are drought, forest fires and earthquakes. Earthquakes are endemic to the region as well. Despite such vulnerability to these hazards, most people do not know how to anticipate and be prepared to respond to them. Increasing communities’ awareness and knowledge to mitigate and also prepare to respond to common hazards is critical to helping them protect and save lives and material assets. So, in the delta, we engage community leaders and volunteers — together with AmeriCares, our donor and technical partner, and with local YMCA teams and the Myanmar Red Cross Society — in a comprehensive disaster risk mitigation and reduction project. In recognizing the risks they most often face, and taking time to discuss the causes and effects of these perennial hazards, communities then work together with us to identify opportunities for systematically reducing their vulnerability. They also learn how to respond better on their own when disaster does happen, and this, of course, helps them saves lives.