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Disaster Risk Reduction Emergency Drills in Schools

Earthquake is a very common natural disaster in Japan as well as in Afghanistan. Historical records report destructive earthquakes in Afghanistan during the last centuries and modern seismograph networks show that earthquake activities are widespread throughout the eastern and the northern parts of the country more than others.

However, due to the lack of knowledge, the buildings are poorly designed and are not able to stand against strong quakes so they can be easily affected by strong jolts.
In addition, what makes people even more vulnerable is the lack of information in case of emergency. It is needless to say that people in Afghanistan need to know in advance what specific preparation is needed before, during and after hazards.

After a strong earthquake which struck Afghanistan and Pakistan on 26, Oct, 2015; JEN decided to include a new component of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in its Japan Platform’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene  project 2016. The DRR component aims to strengthen children’s skills so that they understand the risk of disaster and are able to take the lead in reducing the risk and impact of potential disasters. It is worth mentioning that JEN is the first to conduct the DRR activities in Parwan province.

Firstly, JEN conducted the DRR refreshment training for Master Trainers from Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) followed by the DRR trainings for 453 teachers of 20 schools in Charikar by the ANDMA trainers. The trained teachers are obligated to teach and pass the DRR lessons to some 20,000 students at targeted 20 schools. The students will then transfer the DRR messages to their families and the community.

After months of the DRR learning  in the schools, JEN team conducted the DRR emergency drills in the 20 schools of Charikar district, in which teachers and students brought all techniques into practice. The students assumed that they were in a real earthquake and not only tried to find a proper awning for preventing injuries or evacuated from the building in a proper way, but they also learned and practiced what to do after an earthquake that is assisting injured (if any) by using the first aid kit which was already distributed by JEN to targeted schools.

Sultan Mohammad, the Principal of Bayan Ulia Girls High School, appreciated JEN’s efforts in this regards. He commented
“at the last time when the earthquake struck Parwan and all Afghanistan, on the first jolt the students started screaming, rushing and pushing each other to the exit. It was caused by two students’ minor injuries and one student’s trauma.”
He also said that now the students can deal with planning evacuation maps, choosing safe escape ways and paying attention after shock hazards.
Finally, he carried on his words confidently
“we are ready for it now.”

[Sultan Mohammad, the Principal of Bayan Ulia Girls High School]
[The DRR emergency drill in Qalacha Girls High School]
[The emergency drill in Qalai Naw Deh Mula Yusuf School]
[School staff helping an injured student during the drill in Naw Abad Topdara Primary School]

October 6, 2016 in Afghanistan |