Ahmedabad, India: A number of villages in Maliya, Junagadh district in Gujarat State have big GIS maps put up in the main area of the village where there are specific routes marked for people to take in case there are floods or any other disaster to reach the safe spot. The map also has houses marked where vulnerable people like the physically and visually challenged, widows with children and ailing people live who should be evacuated first in the wake of a natural disaster.
This and more initiatives by numerous agencies will be discussed at an advocacy programme on disaster risk management and disaster preparedness being organised in the city. The advocacy meet will be attended by representatives of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) along with a number of voluntary agencies working in the sector of disaster management and disaster preparedness.
Sameer Karia of Focus India said they will share with the representatives, their project in Maliya and Talala talukas of Junagadh district where schoolchildren have been trained in emergency exits in case of natural calamities.
Moreover, community response preparedness teams have also been formed at village level. These teams have been trained in rescue and evacuation, first aid and other emergency management programmes. Karia said they have formed a special software which sends SMS alerts to the village folks about any impending disaster. “Recently, when cyclone Phet had formed, we sent messages in Gujarati to villages that were likely to get high speed winds or rainfall in the wake of the cyclone,” he said.
Here, a special software has also been developed and it will be installed in the office of the district disaster management officer where voice alerts can be sent to a specific group of people. “We realised that though majority village people have mobile phones, not all are literate. So we created a software to send voice alerts,” said Karia. He added that the new software will enable the administration to form an extensive database and send SMSes to concerned group of people in a jiffy in case of disasters.
Source: Times of India