Strengthening Emergency Preparedness and Response in Moraikobai

The main challenges

Moraikobai has a history of hazard impact such as annual incidence of floods and droughts which affect livelihoods, health, and safety of the residents. The community’s main livelihood activities, farming, and logging are highly susceptible to climate-related hazard impact. Despite this, the community has little access to early warning mechanisms and there is no common plan for risk reduction. Further, the remote, riverine nature of the community delays response, thereby, perpetuating the Community’s cycle of risk.

Implementing actors and responsibilities

Through the “Strengthening Community Preparedness and Response in Moraikobai Region 5,” project, the Civil Defence Commission in partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) through support from the European Union, aims to build resilience of one (1) of the most vulnerable communities in the Mahaica- Berbice, Administrative Region (Region 5). This is to be achieved through the development of a Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) system which includes an assessment of disaster risk in the community, hazard maps, a CBDRM plan, the establishment of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and a CBDRM Committee.

What actions were taken and should be highlighted?

The project which commenced in June 2018, has engaged the community in participatory risk management, through; risk assessments, including hazard, vulnerability and capacity mapping; risk reduction planning; capacity building in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT); and the establishment of a CBDRM committee.

What were the results of those actions?

There is increased awareness of and knowledge around disaster risk and risk reduction strategies among community members in Moraikobai.

Through capacity building in risk mapping and CERT, Moraikobai has increased capacity to prepare for and respond to climate-related hazard impact, particularly during upcoming seasonal events.

The above-mentioned outcomes have produced the following outputs and outcomes:

  • 28 residents have been trained to conduct risk assessments at the community level
  • 11 residents have been trained in CERT
  • Priority hazards have been identified for the community
  • Community generated hazard and vulnerability maps have been developed for Moraikobai
  • Risk reduction measures and key resource persons and agencies have been identified
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data and drone imagery have been collected for generation of hazard and vulnerability maps
  • The community has an established CBDRM Committee

Major achievements

Moraikobai is the only indigenous and the only hinterland community within the Mahaica-Berbice Region (Region 5). From a development standpoint, the largely Arawak community is in the initial stages of developing its sustainable tourism sector and has used the CBDRM Committees and CERT as tools for propelling the local sector. For example the Village council has included the CERT team and CBDRM committee in project proposals for development of its tourism product. If successfully integrated this community can be a model for DRM integration in local tourism.

What are the next steps?

The main next steps involve the completion of the project are as follows:

  • The completion and distribution of the Morakaboi CBDRM Plan, inclusive of hazard and vulnerability maps.
  • A drill/simulation is to be done with the CERT and equipment handed over.
  • Integration of Moraikobai CBDRM system into the Mahaica-Berbice Regional Disaster Risk Management Systems and Monitoring

Project features

Years: 2018-2019
Implementing Agency: Civil Defence Commission, Moraikobai Village Council
Benefiting Zone: Guayana
Cooperation and technical assistance: CDEMA
Funded by: The European Union through the Natural Disaster Risk Management Programme in the CARIFORUM.

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