Training toolkit and "factsheet" piloted in Kenya to strengthen disaster management

UNISDR press release 2010/17

United Nations to release “Natural hazard fact sheets for Kenya” and draft “Training for Trainers” toolkit to strengthen disaster management in Kenya

Nairobi – On 25 to 26 August, the UNISDR Regional Office for Africa will hold a pilot workshop on “Training of Trainers” in the Rift Valley Province to test a toolkit to “train trainers” in disaster risk reduction. After gathering feedback from participants, the toolkit will be published for use throughout Kenya and beyond.

“The outcome of this training will create a super highway for spreading hazard and disaster risk reduction information to local communities, thereby increasing their knowledgebase and consequently their resilience to natural disasters,” said Pedro Basabe, Head of the UNISDR Regional Office for Africa. “It is also projected that the pilot training in Kenya will help the participants to fine tune their own approaches to disaster risk reduction, as they apply the lessons from elsewhere on the continent.”

Expected to attend are 30 Disaster Risk Reduction platform members from the provinces, and five regional participants from Burundi, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal and Kenya, along with representatives from other governments and the United Nations.

Also available is a factsheet developed by UNISDR – at the request of the Kenya National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction – called “Natural Hazard Factsheets for Kenya,” targeted at disaster risk managers, disaster emergency responders and others in order to mitigate and prepare for disasters more effectively. The factsheets are designed to help practitioners in disaster risk reduction to identify vulnerabilities unique to different parts of the country, depending on the types of natural hazards that each part is most likely to face.

The draft Training of Trainers toolkit teaches practitioners to use the Natural Hazard Factsheet when training actors at the grassroots level on actions to take on disaster risk reduction. Communities will be trained on the various aspects of hazards and how to use local means and resources to adapt, mitigate and cope with these hazards so they do not turn into disasters. District Disaster Management Committees (DDMC) are also likely to find the fact sheets useful in their mitigation, prevention and preparedness.

Recent events in Kenya have shown that the country is increasingly becoming predisposed to both natural and human-made disasters such as floods, droughts, landslides, fire and consequences of climate change. This has continued to threaten both sustainable development and poverty-reduction initiatives. The key drawback in the government’s efforts to initiate disaster risk reduction programmes and activities is that the dangers posed by natural and manmade hazards are little understood, and have not been given the needed attention.

Industrialized countries can sustain economic losses resulting from disasters, and loss of life is usually very low because of effective forecasting and warning systems. However, in developing countries, disasters tend to result in heavy loss of life and livelihood, because a majority of people have too little disaster knowledge.

With extreme weather events becoming more intense and frequent, the Kenyan government is recognizing the need to understand and prepare for disasters. Several institutions of higher learning are now running undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in disaster management. The government has also started to institute various legal and institutions mechanisms for disaster preparedness, response and mitigation.

In addition, community vulnerability to disasters is an important – and often overlooked – dimension of poverty, which can have significant adverse effects on social and economic development. Community training and awareness can contribute to reducing such vulnerability.

For further information and media assistance, please contact:

Rhea Katsanakis, UNISDR Nairobi. E-mail rhea.katsanakis@unep.org

Sarah Wakasa, UNISDR Nairobi. E-mail sarah.wakasa@unep.org

Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific.
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