Sunday, February 7, 2010

Community awareness workshop (06Feb2010) : "Can we be better prepared to deal with Landslides in the monsoons this year?"

The monsoons of 2009 began with Cyclone AILA smashing through parts of Darjeeling district and continued with unexpected & sudden peaks of high intensity rainfall which caused landslides and destruction for the rest of the monsoon season (all available in blog). 
Now with the monsoons of 2010 just about 3 months away, it is time to ponder whether we learnt anything from the devastation last year?
With this in mind STH along with Centre for Mountain Dynamics (CMD - an NGO working with farmers in Kalimpong subdivision) organized a joint workshop to discuss how we could be better prepared to deal with the monsoons this year. Some 53 community representatives from all over Kalimpong sub-division attended the meeting and over a 2 hour session, the rudiments of Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) were discussed. Members of the rural communities actively participated and related their experiences during the proceedings which was moderated by Mr Yusuf Simick of CMD. Ms Kakoli Chowdhury (and her daughter) from Darjeeling were also present in the meeting and we hope to organize a similar meeting there with her.

The meeting was summarized by the octogenarian Mr PR Pradhan who noted that this was the first meeting that he had attended which was based solely on better ways of living with a disaster form (landslides) which was increasing in intensity and frequency each year.

Praful Rao

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