P. 1
Creating a Culture of Disaster Preparedness

Creating a Culture of Disaster Preparedness

|Views: 360|Likes:
Published by Oxfam
The Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) is one of the most disaster prone states and is regularly affected by droughts, floods and cyclones. It is estimated that about 44% of AP's total territory is vulnerable to tropical storms, floods and related hazards. The state has experienced more than hundred medium to major scale cyclones and floods over the last hundred years.In this paper, Oxfam looks beyond disaster response and relief strategies to advocate for long term disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction mechanisms that will protect communities from natural disasters. In 1997, Oxfam GB initiated efforts for creating a culture of disaster preparedness in Andhra Pradesh. The key components of this initiative are: Community Based Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction of Vulnerable communities through Housing, Insurance, training, health awareness, drinking water
The Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) is one of the most disaster prone states and is regularly affected by droughts, floods and cyclones. It is estimated that about 44% of AP's total territory is vulnerable to tropical storms, floods and related hazards. The state has experienced more than hundred medium to major scale cyclones and floods over the last hundred years.In this paper, Oxfam looks beyond disaster response and relief strategies to advocate for long term disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction mechanisms that will protect communities from natural disasters. In 1997, Oxfam GB initiated efforts for creating a culture of disaster preparedness in Andhra Pradesh. The key components of this initiative are: Community Based Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction of Vulnerable communities through Housing, Insurance, training, health awareness, drinking water

More info:

Published by: Oxfam on Apr 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

02/08/2013

pdf

text

original

If houses in cyclone-prone areas are strong enough to withstand cyclonic winds and tidal
waves, then there is no need for people to get caught in the storm or get evacuated miles
away from their villages. For the poor anywhere in
the world, a safe house is not merely a shelter, but
a significant poverty reduction strategy. Oxfam’s ap-
proach to improved housing has not been merely
constructing houses, but using housing as a strategy
for disaster risk reduction and a centre of overall
development of a village and the region.

In coastal Andhra Pradesh, more than 7 million peo-
ple are vulnerable to cyclones and tidal waves, be-
cause of their unsafe thatched houses. It is impossible to provide houses for every vulner-
able family. But at the same time, it is important to make efforts to ensure that as many
people as possible will get this help within the given resources. With this in mind, Oxfam’s
sustainable housing programme has entailed:

1. Community Participation in site selection, design & construction and beneficiary con-
tribution in the house construction.

2. Cutting costs and generating income for the community in the process of house con-

struction.

3. Promote low cost alternative technology to cover larger number of poor.

4. Registration of all houses in the name of female family members

Prior to launching house construction, Oxfam conducted studies in collaboration with
the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Structural Engineering Research Center
in Chennai in 1997. On the request of Oxfam, Indian Institute of Science developed
a manually operated brick-block making machine called ‘Mardini’. This machine costing

Healthcare for Stronger Communities

Primary healthcare centres

The preventive care in collaboration with local Primary Health Centres in the programme
area resulted in an increase in immunisation coverage from 10% to 95% among children
and from 15% to 90% among pregnant women. The community has also been linked with
Primary Health Centres to utilise services and facilities for educational and curative care.

Oxfa

m

GB in In
d
ia

Since 1951

Disaster Preparedness

31

only Rs: 25,000 enabled the production of brick
blocks at a cost 25% cheaper than the market
price. The compressive strength of traditionally
used burnt brick generally is 35 Kg./sq.Cm. The
blocks produced at the production centre with
both the mechanised and the manual machines
are of greater strength than the burnt bricks
as well as the commercially produced fly-ash
brick blocks.

Subsequently, Oxfam established a brick-making
unit near a project site. The community man-
ages this unit and produces building components
like building blocks, reinforced cement concrete
doors and window frames, pre-fabricated roofing
systems, ferro-cement roofing channels, segment blocks, water tanks etc. These materials
were used for houses constructed in the housing program completed in the year 2001.
However, the building unit continues to sustain by supplying material to private houses,
road construction and a number of government projects. The production centre creates an
average of 2108 employment days between the 7 men and 6 women who manage it.

The housing beneficiaries were identified by the community groups, and the house con-
struction was conducted with their manual contribution. Each beneficiary of the house is
expected to meet half of the construction cost. That they contribute through manual labour
and by paying Rs. 150 per month to the group. The collected money is under the control of
the village institutions and is used for constructing houses for other beneficiaries.

Since it is difficult to provide such houses for large number of families (each house costs
between Rs. 30,000–40,000), Oxfam simultaneously conducted a study of thatched hous-
es in the coastal villages to find ways of strengthening them to withstand cyclonic winds.
Retrofitting of the houses was found to be the most cost effective way of strengthening
the existing houses to withstand cyclonic winds. Oxfam supported the retrofitting of
another 1000 thatched houses, which have been able to withstand several cyclones that
crossed the coast since 1998.

Disaster-Resistant Housing

Making disaster-resistant housing

In order to economise the cost of production of the
brick blocks and enable the production of the blocks
in the villages where housing construction is taking
place manually operated brick-block making machine
called ‘Mardini’ was procured. The machine was de-
veloped for this purpose by the Indian Institute of
Science (IIS), Bangalore. This machine cost only Rs.
25,000 and enables the production of brick blocks that
are 25% cheaper than the market price.

The Process of Retrofitting Houses

Replacement of wooden poles with RCC poles and grout them in cement concrete;

Tie-down the roof frame to the vertical poles with metal straps;

Provide vertical bracing across the poles and corner bracing to the roof frame;

Stabilise the mud used for walls, use forms and ramming while building mud
walls or apply bituminised plaster to make the walls water repellent; and

Apply treatment with cashew shell oil to increase durability of thatch and make
it fire retardant.

Disaster Preparedness

32

Oxfa

m

GB in In
d
ia

Since 1951

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd