United Nations Development Program (UNDP Pakistan) in coordination with local registered organizations is implementing “Supporting Community Resilience (SCORE)” project in 30 communities of three provinces; KP. Baluchistan and Sindh. The overall aim of SCORE project is to enhance awareness on disaster risk among local communities and line departments. Usually when a disaster happens, affected communities wait for assistance from local authorities and other donors but this project focuses on bringing knowledge and awareness in communities to respond as a first responders rather than victims by enhancing skills and knowledge of communities and local authorities and mutual consensus structural mitigation plans.
GEESE-CRI Consortium for Disaster Resilience is a consortium of two organizations; Global Economic, Environmental and Social Empowerment (GEESE) and Community Resilience Initiative (CRI), who have a lot of expertise in the field of DRR/CBDRM. GEESE-CRI (CDR) has an impressive past of implementing projects with a vision of “Building back better”.
In Tharparkar, GEESE-CRI with UNDP is implementing ICBDRM facilitation project in six communities of UC Mithrio Bhatti and UC Vejhiar. These communities were selected in close coordination with local authorities. Keeping in view the risk factor and current disaster situation, village Vesasar, Dhorio, Khenkhniyo, Bhope Jo Tarr, Shiv Jo Tarr and Vejhiar were selected. These villages are located along Chachrro Taluka and were badly affected from flooding and droughts during past three decades
At start of project representatives from line departments were selected in close coordination with local authorities (DCO Tharparkar) so that they could participate in CBDRM process and could facilitate local communities. Before conducting risk assessment, a capacity building session was organized for GEESE-CRI (CDR) staff regarding CBDRM and line department representatives so that they could better facilitate communities with their risk assessment process. Later VDMCs were formed in communities keeping in view the inclusive approach and participation of all vulnerable groups including women, children, elders, minorities and PWDs and they were also capacitated over CBDRM process, PRA tools and DRR planning. Later risk assessments were conducted in the selected communities. During risk assessment process representatives from line departments including agriculture, livestock, social welfare and public health engineering participated in order to monitor the whole process and facilitate communities in DRR planning by providing expert opinions especially in structural mitigation interventions.
At the end it was concluded that still a lot of structural mitigation measure are needed in the area. Tharparkar is an arid zone and its livelihoods are dependent on water. Climate change has badly affected these regions as due to continuous droughts, surface water is not available and communities depend on below surface available water. But that water is not sufficient to fulfill their drinking and agriculture needs. They do not have enough financial and physical resources to restore their livelihoods which ultimately have negative impacts on their health, environment and social activities. Now they are dependent on livestock. There is a lot of need to restore their livelihoods by introducing vocational skills, small and medium enterprises, awareness raising on livestock management and business and marketing techniques, restoring health by provision of kitchen gardening facilities, installation of hand-pumps, and tube-wells for irrigation purpose. By restoring livelihoods, these communities can become resilient communities to multi hazards.