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CHURCH'S AUXILIARY FOR SOCIAL ACTION PREPAREDNESS PROGRAM

Working together with the community and the people has been CASA’s uniqueness and strength from the very beginning. Accordingly, CASA has endeavoured to give utmost importance to community’s participation and involvement in all its interventions including proper preparedness, mitigation and management of disasters in the country. Following the widespread devastation caused by the floods of 2000 and as an improvement on the ongoing flood relief programme, therefore, the CBDP Programme in West Bengal was conceptualised in 2005 on the same lines in order to encourage, educate, empower and prepare people at large to prevent and also deal with disasters and its aftermath effectively.
During the course of the programme supported by Christian Aid and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), focus was on involving PRIs, Government authorities, Self Help Groups, POs, DMTF members and the local community at large for building awareness and capacity of all concerned enabling them to come together, coordinate better and address the relevant issues with a greater sense of participation. The programme also envisages empowering the poor and the weaker sections of the community to challenge and change the related government policies suitably for disaster relief, rehabilitation, preparedness, mitigation and management in the most desirable manner.

Initiatives
  1. People from 60 new flood prone villages, situated at the mid-zone of river Ganges and Padma near India-Bangladesh border, were identified for CBDP training. These villages were selected in consultation with PRI members, Government officials, and on our experience.
  2. To compare the pre and post CBPP Intervention, vulnerability reduction and capacity enhancement, village level surveys have been conducted in all the 60 villages.
  3. Capacity Building Programmes have been organised for PRI members at Panchayat Levels. The Panchayat Pradhans and elected members of Tentulia, Barshimul, Jugolkishore and Bahirgachhi Gram Panchayats participated in this programmes.
  4. CASA, as an active member of the District Level Disaster Management Committee participated in various government programmes on CBPP and also sent resource persons to CBDP Programmes organised in different Panchayats and Blocks.
  5. CASA attended the Public Hearing Programme and “Right to Food” and “Right to Work” by the District Level NGO Network where CASA is on the advisory board.
  6. CASA also participated in a national level workshop on CBDP organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in New Delhi for formulation of future strategies at the national level.
  7. The DMTF volunteers and Site Leaders of CASA facilitated a Mock Drill during a Disaster Risk Management Programme by the Panchayat at Bhagabangola-I Block in Murshidabad District.
  8. DMTF members of Naya Mukundapur catchment area organised a Blood Donation Camp at Khodarampur village.

Challenges
  1. To involve and make the local community participate in CBDP Programme.
  2. Encourage thewomen of Murshidabad (with 86% Muslim population) in CBDP Programmes.
  3. oconduct CBDP programme for people left with no means of livelihood following severesoil erosion and submergence of their land under the Ganges and Padma rivers.

Impacts
  1. Panchayats, Blocks and District Administration are showing greater concern to mitigate future disasters.
  2. Panchayats as well as the Blocks have enlisted the DMTF members in their list of resource persons.
  3. SHGs of various villages have gathered sound knowledge of building linkages with different Banks.
  4. The trained DMTF members are duly recognised and the Government has issued them Identity Cards.
  5. A good number of women volunteers have joined the DMTF teams.

Lessons Learnt
  1. Clarity of programme amongst the villagers ensures its success.
  2. Empowerment of villagers encourages them to participate and own the programmes.
  3. Communicated can be motivated by offering ownership of the programmes.
  4. Motivating the youth makes the programmes more purposeful, easy and effective.
  5. Regular communication with Government authorities have increases their interest in the programmes.
  6. Haring of knowledge and skills of villagers is fruitful for their full participation in the programmes.
  7. haring of knowledge and skills of villagers is fruitful for their full participation in the programmes.
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