Ni ROGYN BEYAO ken ROD ASURIN
TABUK CITY, Kalinga — Members of peoples organizations in Kalinga province were trained to identify the disaster risks in their communities and draw up plans to mitigate these in a disaster preparedness workshop by the Cordillerra Disaster Response and Development Services (CorDis RDS) and its provincial partner Timpuyog dagiti Mannalon ti Kalinga (TMK) on August 11 to 12 here in the City.
Some 80 participants representing various people’s organizations in the province, the participants were taught gather data, document damage and collate reports in order to facilitate proper disaster response from concerned government agencies and non-government entities.
Froilan Wanagon of TMK who talked about Cordillera disaster situation and basic concepts of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), reiterated the need for communities to be capacitated with disaster risk management skills for prevention, mitigation and preparedness in times of disasters.
He said that there are lesser risks when the people have the capacity to deal with disasters through by preemptive measures.
“There is a bigger risk of disaster in a suceptible community when people are incapable of mitigating its effect, whereas, even a community is physically vulnerable when people have the capacity to face the effect, there would be lesser risks of disaster,” he said.
Amian Tauli of CorDis RDS discussed models, phases and activities of disaster response management. He said that the community should be well educated and trained on what to do before, during and after disasters. He said that it is the government’s obligation to provide proper assistence to disater affected communities.
During the training, the participants identified the kinds of disasters that usually affect their community. Some participants from places along the Chico River said that typhoons and torrential rains cause flooding of their ricefields, the only source of their livelihood. They also shared their sentiment about the impending construction of hydroelectric dams along the river that threatens to inundate their ricefields and their villages.
Other participants from the interior villages identified as among their concerns the on-going militarization which they say bars them form tending to their swidden farms and ricefields. They shared that they are afraid to go to their farms considering many cases of civilians being killed by operating soldiers after wrongfully identifying them as members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
Women participants on the other hand identified the Train Law as a big disaster saying that it has caused the increase in prices of basic commodities. They said that the increase in prices have only worsened their already sorry state. They pointed out that climate changes have already taken its toll on their harvest. They shared that their meager income has even dropped these recent croppings due to the prolonged summer season causing drought and aggravated pest infestations.
The two day activity resulted in the reactivation of Sinnaranay an alliance for disaster response in communities, which is composed of representatives from the different towns. Sinnaranay was organized to spearhead the data gathering and documentation of damages during and after a disaster. # nordis.net