3.2 Case study: Practical examples of DRR issues during emergency response

DRR mainstreaming in emergency response project cycle management

Disaster risk reduction is mainstreamed in emergency response through the project cycle management approach. Based on risk assessments, appropriate risk reduction measures should be incorporated in the design of the response. CARE experience in incorporating disaster risk reduction in thematic sectors such as shelter, food security and livelihoods and WASH is developing well. The monitoring, evaluation and learning plan for the response should also look closely at how the response impacts on the risks, and watch out for the possible development of new risks in order for the response to adjust to the situation. Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in the response ensures that people and communities will cope with, and recover from a disaster, and manage future emergencies in a more effective and sustainable way.

Shelter rebuilding

In the emergency response and recovery work following typhoon Haiyan, households received high-quality shelter repair kits and were trained on “build back safer” (BBS) techniques developed with the Shelter Cluster. BBS consisted of eight key messages that dealt with sound construction practices including bracing, connections, pitch of the roof and spacing of nails, and rebuilding of houses in safe locations. Shelter roving teams composed of community members were organized to assist households repair or rebuild their houses. Building on traditional practice, households were organized into mutual-support groups to help each other in the repair or rebuilding activities.

Agricultural practices

Following severe droughts in Africa, farming communities have been stripped of their livelihood and source of nutrition. Drought-resistant crops introduced in emergency response programmes have contributed to improved food security and livelihoods among the affected communities.

In the Philippines, due to chronic typhoons and floods, and occasional droughts, disaster-affected communities have been taught to plan their food security and livelihood recovery activities guided by seasonal calendars. These calendars have been updated to account for changes in the climate and the ecosystem. Farm inputs such as seeds and tools, as well as training, were provided to assist households diversify livelihood activities. Diversification, to include planting of disaster-resistant crops, is an important strategy to strengthen resilience of livelihoods. Sustainable agriculture practices, soil conservation techniques, and simple community mitigation activities are also introduced.

Saving for the future

Microfinance programmes successfully encourage entrepreneurship among poor people, especially groups of women. However, in Bangladesh, a country prone to natural disasters (especially floods), female microfinance participants often found themselves in debt once the flood had subsided and they were expected to pay back their loans. The floods often washed away their income-generating assets along with their savings that were typically stored in a box or under their sleeping mats. Part of an emergency response was to open bank accounts to prevent the loss of savings in future floods.